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Childe's Tomb



The weather on Dartmoor can be very changeable. Make sure you pack a jumper and some waterproofs if you look for Childe's Tomb - or you may end up repeating this 'The Empire Strikes Back' moment:

"It is left us by tradition that one Childe of Plimstoke, a man of fair possessions, having no issue, ordained, by his will, that wheresoever he should happen to be buried, to that church his lands should belong. It so fortuned, that he riding to hunt in the forest of Dartmore, being in pursuit of his game, casually lost his company, and his way likewise. The season then being so cold, and he so benumed therewith, as he was enforced to kill his horse, and embowelled him, to creep into his belly to get heat; which not able to preserve him, was there frozen to death; and so found, was carried by Tavistoke men to be buried in the church of that abbey; which was so secretly done but the inhabitants of Plymstoke had knowledge thereof; which to prevent, they resorted to defend the carriage of the corpse over the bridge, where, they conceived, necessity compelled them to pass. But they were deceived by guile; for the Tavistoke men forthwith built a slight bridge, and passed over at another place without resistance, buried the body, and enjoyed the lands; in memory whereof the bridge beareth the name of Guilebridge to this day."

(Thomas Risdon's Survey of Devon, early 17th century, quoted by Jennifer Westwood in 'Albion').

'Childe' apparently comes from the Anglo Saxon 'Cild', meaning 'young lord'. Obviously the tomb, if you follow the story, can't be where he's buried. Because that's Tavistock. Oh well.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th April 2004ce
Edited 18th February 2005ce

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