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Shire Ditch



A ditch extends all along the top of the Malvern Range, which is said to have been constructed by Gilbert de Clare, the (red) Earl of Gloucester, who married Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward the 1st. The Earl resided at Hanley Castle and received the right of Malvern Chase as his wife's dower, so, wishing to separate this from the lands of the Bishop of Hereford, he constructed a ditch. It is hardly possible that a ditch alone without a fence or pallisading could keep deer and other game from straying. He swore his usual oath, "By the Splendour of God, if I catch any man trespassing upon my manor I will cut off his hands."
What an unutterable prat. This is from 'Camps on the Malvern Hills' by F G Hilton Price, in the journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, v10, 1881. W S Symonds also calls it the 'Red Earl's Ditch' in his 'Hanley Castle' novel (see Waum's Well).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th April 2011ce
Edited 24th April 2011ce

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