a drying ground with drying-lines

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Senior Member

I'm confused about this drying ground which is next to the bakery and the mill ('Gently Through the Mill' by Alan Hunter):

The passage turned a corner and then ended in an open space hemmed in by a high wall and the backs of
uninhabited cottages. It was about sixty yards by fifty, part cinder, part grass, with two or three overgrown pear
trees grouped at one spot. A few old posts for drying-lines still formed a triangle in the middle. At the
corner against the bakehouse stood a dilapidated stable with a hayloft over it.

I assumed it was meant for drying grain but then the drying-lines and the triangle made me guessing my assumption. What is the function of the drying lines here? What do they serve for?
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    As it appears to be a sort of yard or garden, I suggest it means lines for drying clothes on – which would have stretched between the posts.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    We used to call it a washing-line, so perhaps there are local variations.

    The last few generations have grown up with tumble dryers and no access to a back yard, so perhaps Alan Hunter thought clotheslines might not be recognised.
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