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Heritage Underground - A History of Root Cellars in Newfoundland and Labrador

In their travels, visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador might be surprised to see numerous little doorways peeking out of hillsides across the province. These are our root cellars. While they are not unique to this province, they are a part of our history and are a familiar sight in many communities.

Root cellars are insulated structures built above ground, or wholly or partly buried in the ground. They are used to preserve vegetables and protect them from frost and rot. Root cellars were a crucial part of a subsistence lifestyle, giving fishing families the ability to preserve the food they grew, in order to survive the long winters along the rugged coastlines of the province.

Come with us, and explore the fascinating underground heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador’s root cellars.

Start reading the story

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador