Earthly Mission

The Farm in the Middle of the Highway

If you drive along the M62 motorway, on the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire in the UK, you will be greeted with an unusual sight – a farm situated right in the middle of the motorway.

Image credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Welcome to Stott Hall Farm. For the past half a century, this place has become one of the best-known sights on UK motorways, seen by a hundred thousand people everyday as they pass by. One motorist had driven past the farm so many times that over time he claimed to have seen the entire selection of underwear of the farmer’s wife hanging out on the line. Wow, I’m not sure I envy him.

The Stott Hall Farm has been there for the past 300 years, and for two centuries there was nothing else there but the birds and the sheep. Then the M62 arrived, right to the farm’s doorstep. Hundreds of homes were bulldozed and families displaced. But the Stott Hall Farm survived. How? Read below.

Image credit: Danny Lawson/PA

For decades, people passing by in their cars assumed the owners were too stubborn to sell their property and so the motorway was built around the farm. They couldn’t have been farther from the truth, as in reality the farm was saved by the geology of the land beneath the 15-acre farm.

“They couldn’t build the eastbound carriageway as high as the westbound carriageway,” explains sheep farmer Paul Thorp, who bought the property from Ken and Beth Wild – the couple whose underwear had become public spectacle. “They just kept getting landslips and one thing and another. So they decided to part the motorway and managed to save the building. That’s the only reason it’s still here.”

Then, engineers had to build underpasses under each carriageway so that farm owners could easily access other parts of his land without crossing the motorway.

Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Image credit: Richard Harvey/Wikimedia

via Amusing Planet

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