A Break in the Clouds

Connecting Community Experiences in Mosser, Cumbria

  • Toby Pillatt University of Sheffield
  • Gemma Thorpe Photographer and filmmaker
  • Kimberley Marwood University of Sheffield
  • Robert Johnston University of Sheffield
Keywords: farming, heritage, Lake District, landscape, modernity, weather


This photo essay accompanies a short film, A Break in the Clouds, which explores everyday life in Mosser, a small former township on the northwest edge of the Lake District. Prompted by the historical diaries of two eighteenth-century Quaker farmers from the same area, connections were drawn between the experiences of the current farmers and those in the past. The text discusses those connections, the making of the film and how our approach was designed to democratise the research process. The images, selected by the photographer, reflect on the key themes or “spaces” that emerged during the research: home/work, land/family, landscape/weather.

Author Biographies

Toby Pillatt, University of Sheffield

Toby Pillatt is a Teaching Associate in Archaeological Heritage at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield. Address for correspondence: Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET, UK.

Gemma Thorpe, Photographer and filmmaker

Gemma Thorpe is a filmmaker and photographer. Address for correspondence: C/O Toby Pillatt, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET, UK.

Kimberley Marwood, University of Sheffield

Kimberley Marwood is a Projects Officer in Academic and Learning Services at the University of Sheffield. Address for correspondence: Academic and Learning Services, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

Robert Johnston, University of Sheffield

Robert Johnston is a Senior Lecturer in Landscape Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield. Address for correspondence: Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET, UK.


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How to Cite
Pillatt, T., Thorpe, G., Marwood, K., & Johnston, R. (2019). A Break in the Clouds. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 5(2), 117-134. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.34512