|St Neot was a keen evangelist and was trying to convert the unenthusiastic masses of Hamstoke (now, one imagines, the village retitled as 'St Neot').
Local tradition, fondly clung to still, tells how they one and all made excuse, alleging that the crows came down in such flights on their fields as to destroy the prospect of crops, and that accordingly they could not spare the time from watching their fields to attendance on his discourses.From p7 in 'The Lives of the British Saints' volume 4, by S Baring-Gould and John Fisher (1913).
Then Neot summoned the crows to him and empounded them in the old Roman camp on Goonzion Down, and bade them remain there during the time of Divine worship and instruction. And they obeyed.
footnote: The entrenchment is now called 'Crow Pound'. The woman at S. Neot who told the story to the writer said: 'Some people doubt that this was so. But S. Neot was a very holy man. There is Crow Pound, and there on the opposite side of the valley is the Rookery.'
This is very wordily reported in Impounding Wild Birds
The Folk-Lore Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1. (Jan., 1884), pp. 19-20.
in which he quotes the Parochial History of Saint Neots in Cornwall, by James Michell, 1833, p137-8. The name of the village is given as Guerryer Stoke (now St. Neots).
Posted by Rhiannon
23rd June 2006ce
Edited 1st April 2007ce