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Castle-an-Dinas (St. Columb)



This is really extremely unpleasant but I suppose it conceivably gives an insight into the way people saw this fort at the time - I have no proof but you would imagine the gibbet to be actually on or within its walls as it is the high point of the eponymous downs. It dimly brought to my mind the way Hardy uses Stonehenge as a wild no-man's land for Tess of the D'urbervilles. As though it represented the opposite of somewhere civilised, somewhere apt for the end of someone uncivilised (not that anyone deserves such a way to go). Am I overanalysing, it is possible. It's so horrible I wonder if I should post it, for potentially spoiling the atmosphere there for anyone that reads this and visits :)
"Anne, the daughter John Pollard, of this parish [St. Columb], and Loveday, the daughter of Thomas Rosebere, of the parish of Enoder, were buried on the 23rd day of June, 1671, who were both barbarously murdered the day before in the house of Capt'n Peter Pollard on the bridge, by one John the son of Humphrey and Cicely Trehembern, of this parish, about 11 of the clock in the forenoon upon a market day."

The following tradition is given in connection with the above:= "A bloodhound was obtained and set upon the trail, which it followed up a narrow lane, to the east of the union-house, named Tremen's-lane; at the head, the hound made in an oblique direction towards the town, and in a narrow alley, known as Wreford's-row, it came upon the murderer in his father's house, and licked his boots, which were covered in blood."

The sentence on Tremen was "that he be confined in an iron cage on the Castle Downs, 2 miles from St. Columb, and starved to death." While in confinement he was visited by a country woman on her way home from market. The prisoner begged earnestly for something to eat; the woman informed him that she had nothing in the shape of food but a pound of candles; this being given him, he ate them in a ravenous manner. It's a saying here, in reference to a scapegrace, that he is a regular Tremen.

Richard Cornish. St. Columb.
From v1 of the Western Antiquary (June 1881).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th August 2012ce
Edited 17th August 2012ce

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