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Castle Dyke (Little Haldon)



The remains of the chapel are on the valley side below Castle Dyke.
A legend exists of Lidwell, Lithewell, or Lady-Well under Haldon, not far from Dawlish, that a monk resorted to the practices of a highwayman to gain means to enjoy the luxuries of the table. He assumed nightly the garb of a wayfarer, and trudged along the roads, demanding "Your money or your life" of well-dressed and wealthy travellers.

He would decoy women to his chapel, and after robbing them, would throw them into a disused well. Hence the name of this place. After the suppression of the chapel this well was found to contain a large number of human bones, which it is affirmed on examination were those of women and young children. The shadowy forms of women are frequently seen hovering over the spot, while the wailing cries of children fill the air.

S. Hewett.


Lidwell Chapel is a ruin situated under the brow of Haldon, not far from Dawlish, in which, in 1881, the Holy Well long lost sight of and supposed in recent times to have been outside the building, was discovered, in exact accordance with the old story, to be within the walls and close to the altar.

The late Rev. R.H.D. Barham, in 1882, conducted the members of the Teign Naturalists' Field Club to the ruins and pointed out the well. It is to be seen at the north-east corner of the chancel [...] He remarked that about the beginning of the present century an attempt was said to have been made to explore this receptacle, as it was thought to be, of the murderer's booty but after descending a considerable distance the adventurers were driven back, so they declared, by evil spirits.

According to another tradition the well is of unfathomable depth, passing under the Teign, and at length finds issue in Kent's Cavern, where articles dropped down the opening at Haldon, have re-appeared.

From 'On Devonshire Folklore' at
'Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association' v 26 (1894).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th June 2011ce
Edited 17th June 2011ce

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