# From L. C. Wedgwood [8 February 1872]^{1}

*Leith Hill Place, | Dorking.*

Xperi^{mt}. 1. Measurement of depth of furrows at top and bottom of slope— Old ploughed land has been pasture at least 24 years. Field sloping in 2 directions, but much most along furrows. Measured by laying a straight rod across from ridge to ridge, and measuring distance from furrow to rod.^{2}

Furrow No 1:— (Jan 15^{th} 1872)

Top. (before there is much slope) 4 in

middle of slope—————3$\frac{3}{4}$

Bottom of slope (on flat) 3$\frac{1}{4}$

Furrow No 2:—

Top (nearly flat) about 3$\frac{3}{4}$

near top of slope " 4

Middle " 3$\frac{3}{4}$

Bottom " 4

Furrow No 3:—

Top.— about 3$\frac{1}{2}$

N^{r}. top of slope " 3

Bottom nearly 3

Furrow No 4:—

Top ab^{t}. 4

Top of slope " 3

Bottom " 3

It was impossible in above experiment to obtain very accurate results,— any little irregularities in the surface making all the difference. There were marks of draining-pipes running across furrows n^{r}. top & bottom

Experi^{mt}. 2— Trenches dug one on ridge, one in trough of furrow side by side in same field on slope. Jan. 11^{th}. Line of worm-mould very ill-defined— No apparent difference

Beginning of Feb. Two more trenches dug in same field on nearly flat ground along line of furrow.

Worm-line very ill-defined only to be seen by an occasional bit of charcoal. These are very rare, but form a sufficiently straight line I think to preclude chance

No 1. (ridge) worm-mould 2$\frac{3}{4}$–4 inches

No 2 (furrow) — — 3$\frac{1}{2}$–5 "

Experi^{mt}. 3. A sod dug out near top of steep slope in garden and at bottom. (Feb 6^{th}.)

Top worm-mould 4 inches

Bottom—— 5$\frac{3}{4}$

Ex^{pt}. 4 Worm mould on common near sq^{re}. yard 3–4 in.

On terrace near sq y^{d}. 3$\frac{3}{4}$^{3}

## CD annotations

^{mt}. 3.... 5$\frac{3}{4}$ 6.4] ‘But brushing with besom may have interfered’

*added ink*

^{pt}. 4 … 3–4 in.] ‘so that *for endless centuries [

*interl*] here in 30–40 years the whole w

^{d}be brought to surface; is little added from below, & this little washed away?’

*added ink*

*interl after*‘on’

*ink*

*added ink*

*Top of letter*: ‘Given to me at Down. Feb. 8

^{th}1872 | Lucy Wedgwood’

*ink*

## Footnotes

*Earthworms*, pp. 292–7, CD discussed the gradual disappearance of ridges and furrows on inclined land.

*Earthworms*, pp. 165–8. In this account, he referred to Wedgwood as ‘a lady’.

## Summary

Describes earthworm experiments. She has measured depth of mould in various locales, e.g., on ridges and furrows of an old ploughed field.

## Letter details

- Letter no.
- DCP-LETT-8203
- From
- Lucy Caroline Harrison
- To
- Charles Robert Darwin
- Sent from
- Leith Hill Place
- Source of text
- DAR 63: 79–80
- Physical description
- †

## Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8203,” accessed on 19 February 2019, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8203

Also published in *The Correspondence of Charles Darwin*, vol. 20