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Castle-an-Dinas (St. Columb)



The fort is mentioned in a miracle play written down in 1504: 'Beunans Meriasek' - the Life of St Meriasek. It's been suggested that it's a subversively anti-English. It was written in Cornish, which few toffs would understand, and the villain is called Teudar, which sounds remarkably like Tudor. Teudar is an invader who is reigning by force. Meriasek says he needs baptising but Teudar isn't having it and wants Meriasek hanged. The saint is warned in a vision and hides easily from Teudar's soldiers under a rock, consecrating the spring there to cure the insane, and then runs off to Britanny.

The second part of the play introduces Teudar's nemesis, the Duke of Cornwall, who vows to get rid of Teudar for having driven away the saint.
Me yv duk in oll kernow
indella ytho ov thays
hag vhel arluth in pov
a tamer the pen an vlays
tregys off lemen heb wov
berth in castel an dynas
sur in peddre
ha war an tyreth vhel
thym yma castel arel
a veth gelwys tyndagyel
henna yv o[v]fen tregse

I am Duke in all Cornwall:
So was my father,
And a high lord in the country
From Tamar to the end of the kingdom.
I am dwelling now, without a lie,
Within the castle of Dynas
Surely in Pidar,
And in the high land
I have another castle,
Which is called Tyntagel:
That is my chief dwelling-seat.
Pydar is one of the hundreds of Cornwall. You can see the play here in Whitley Stokes' translation, published 1872. There is much interesting discussion of it here in J P D Cooper's 'Propaganda and the Tudor State' (2003).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd April 2013ce
Edited 22nd April 2013ce

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