EPISODE 76 LIFE AS AN IRISH COPPER MINER IN BUNMAHON, COUNTY WATERFORD 1840 TO 1876
EPISODE 75 WELSH MINERS LANTERNS…FOUND IN AN ONTARIO BARN
WELSH MINERS LANTERNS FOUND IN AN ONTARIO BARNalan skeochoct. 2018 and June 2020
NOTE: I wrote much of this story in 1918 when we made a startling purchase of a pair of miners lanterns at a farm sale. The story gives some
Earlier I related the heart warming story of Jack the Clydesdale whose home in Dr. Richardson’s barn is secure in spite of the auction sale. The new ownerof the farm wanted Jack as much as she wanted the farm.There was another unusual facet of the Richardson auction…which is the subject of this story.TWO WELSH MINERS LAMPS: WHAT WERE THEY DOING IN AN ONTARO BARN IN 2018?ALAN SKEOCHOCT. 2018
Seemed out of place. Two heavy copper cylinders sat on a table outside the Richardson Barn at their Sept. 8, 2018 auction sale. Something clickedin my mind when I noticed them so I took a quick picture and hustled to the other auctioneer who was selling a coyote pelt and a horse trough that looked better thanthose cylinders.“Marjorie, you might throw a bid at those cylinders if the price is right.”“What are they?”“Not sure but those cylinders are out of place…not something found in Ontario barns…wishI could remember what it is about them. Important. But don’t go crazy in your bidding.”“Here they are, Alan, Happy Birthday.”“ Now I remember… These two copper cylinders are…“Jim McCartney, the auctioneer called them ship’s lanterns.”“Well he is wrong. These are miner’s lanterns…designed to give a very little bitof light in the dismal darkness of coal mines in South Wales.”“Why so big and so heavy…allow just a flicker of light.”“The real purpose is to detect dangerous coal gas…explosive. These lanternswere invented after hundreds of British coal miners had died from gas ignitionsunderground. A spark. A candle. A match. Enough to blow a coal mine into amass graveyard.. In the 19th century these underground detonations in coal mineswere regular events.”“What gas are you talking about?“Lots of different gas in coal mines…I suppose the worst was methane trappedin pockets in the coal…ignites easily,”“How did methane get into coal?”“Coal was once ferns, trees, plants of all kinds…most once grew in the Carboniferous Era 359 million of years ago to 299 million years ago inthe Paleozoic period when the earth was really swampy and oceans were hundreds of feetlower because so much water was trapped in arctic and antarctic polar ice. Plants lived anddied, their bodies forming thick blankets of decaying matter. Gas was part of he process of decay.These thick beds of plants eventually got covered with sediment in later eras forming coal whichis a sedimentary rock formed by pressure and the absence of oxygen. Thick beds of coal arefound in pockets all over the world…lots in Canada and the United Staes and Britain and a massiveamount in China.”“Slow down, Alan…do you mean this coal which we can buy in the store is 300 million years old?”“Correct…ancient as time…measured in millions of years…that one chunk of coal.”“So coal is plentiful but not infinite…what happens when we use all the coal?”“Good thinking…dreadful thinking really. It took millions of years to press those ancient plants into coal. Yetwe have only been burning coal for about 300 years…consumption big time. When the coal is gone there will beNo more coal madeunless a catastrophic even happens and our trees and plants are once again covered with sediment and pressed into new coal.”“You scare me at times. Get back to that methane…where does it come from?”“Methane was identified back in 18th century by a scientist who noticed ‘swamp gas”bubbled up and smelled bad. Produced by rotting vegetation. Deep coal mines trapmethane pockets of CH4 (Methane) that is released by miners. Mix methane with oxygenand the chance of explosion occurs.”“Has that ever happened?”“Don’t play around with me…of course coal mine explosions have happened…lots of times.Some truly devastating.”“Name one.”“Universal Colliery, Sengheydd, Wales…massive underground explosion on October 14, 1913, killed 439 minersof the 1,000 underground at the time…and 100 horses…worst mining disaster in British history.Families waiting for announcement of deaths in the Universal Colliery, Wales. Nearlyhalf of the 1,000 coal miners died in the explosion…and 100 horses.“You mean there were 1,000 men digging coal deep in the bowels of Wales and nearly half were killed.”“Right. And that is just one example. Coal miners were killed or maimed every six hours. Miningis a dangerous business.“Did you say there were 200 horses down there as well.“I did. So many stories…where to begin?”“And what about those copper cylinders…how do they fit into the story?”“Good comment…let’s deal with those things. Look at the pictures below.“Your lamps…I see them in those miners hands…same thing”“Designed to sample the air…lamp gets brighter As explosive cas appears…gives miners warning to get the hell out fast.”“What about those horses? Just leave them to get killed?”“Most miners loved their horses…living company for them in the near absolute darkness of the mine stopes and alleyways.”“You said ‘most’ which means some miners were not so kind.”“Correct. Just like any collection of human beings there are always ‘not so nice’ miners who abused the horses.”“How?”“Beat them. There is an amusing story about one miner who abused his horse. The horses bolted and ran through the minetunnels while the miner chased after him. Eventually the horse just disappeared much to the chagrin and anger of the miner.“How could a grown horse disappear in a coal mine?”“That’s what the miner said.”“Was the horse ever found?”“Yes, a while later. The horse had jogged into a side tunnel where a coal cart had been parked. He hid behind the cart whilethe angry miner ran back and forth cursing no doubt.”‘How could a horse hide in a coal mine?”“Easy. You have forgotten that coal mines were pitch dark most places. The horse knew every twist and turn in the mine eventhough he could not see. Amazing. If horses could only laugh and whinny softly, ‘You son of a bitch, you won’t find me here nobattery how you yell and swear.’”“God, must have been awful down there in the darkness.”“No one knows really except for the men deep in the pits.”“Some of those coal seams were not very thick…no room for horses for sure…I saw pictures of men pick axing coal seams whilelying of their sides…maybe only three feet of clearance. Horse no help there.”“That’s where the miners kids proved useful…small people needed.”“Children in coal mines?”“:Sure, some as young as six years old. Some children spent their lives deep those pits. A lot of them died in explosions and roof collapseand accidents…and then there was black lung…dreaded killer when sharp bits of coal dust builds up in the lung. Terrible death.“You exagerate, Alan, little children were not miners.”“Sure as hell were…as a matter of fact children were used in coal mines before horses. The horses, most of them, replaced thechildren when child abuse scandals became general knowledge in the 1840’s in Britain. Children were prohibited in mines.“Saved?”“Not completely. Who would know if a kid was deep in the mine. Absolute darkness except for slivers of light from the lamps.Miners were poorly paid…needed the extra cash from their children. Many payed rent for company houses and had to shop incompany stores…wages barely covered expenses. Mine owners were not always humane…they wanted profits like anycapitalist.Note re: Miner’s lamps/ left: kind of lamp given to foremen and mine execsright: kind of lamp given to miners and children, obvious wear, has numberwich was stated as miners left shift…a way of checking who was still below.In mine collapses and explosions this system gave identity of men still inmine, either dead or alive.CHILDREN, DOWN IN THE COAL MINES“The first coal seams were found on the seacoasts…thin bands of coal…this led to problems.”“Problems?”“yes, the deeper the coal was mined the smaller the tunnel?”“So?”“So , small people were best as miners…and agile people who could easily crawl on hands and knees.”“So?”“So, who are the smallest people?”“Children!”“Right. Children were very useful as miners. They did what they were told. They were small. They were cheap. And they wereexpendable. Who cared what happened deep in the dark of a coal mine?”“Surely , you exaggerate, ““Nope, check the records.”“I do not have time to do that.”“OK, here are some comments by child miners in the 1840’s…part of a British government investigation after a mineaccident that killed children deep in a coal mine.”In the 1840’s the Welsh coal mines were investigated by a British Commission and child labour was reduced as a result. Some of the reports sent by thegovernment authorities were very graphic. “I got my head crushed…by a piece of roof falling.” (William Skidmore, aged 9)…”I got my legs crushed sometme snce, which threw me off work some weeks.” (John Reece, aged 14)…”Nearly a year ago there was an accident and most of us were burned. I wascarried home by a man. it hurt very much because the skin was burnt of my face. I couldn’t work for six months.” (Philip Phillips, aged 9)Philip Davies had a horse for company. He was pale and undernourished in appearance. His clothing was worn and ragged. He could not read:-‘I have been driving horses since I was seven but for one year before that I looked after an air door. I would like to go to school but I am too tired as I work for twelve hours.’ Drammers pulled their carts by a chain attached at their waist. They worked in the low tunnels between the coal faces and the higher main roadways where horses might be used. The carts weighed about 1½cwt. of coal and had to be dragged a distance of about 50 yards in a height of about 3 feet.12 year old John Davies comes up from Rhonda mine carrying his miner’s lantern, lunch bag and jug of water.PERSONAL CONNECTON: FRANK FREEMAN, YOUNGEST BROTHER OF MY GRANDFATHER EDWARD FREEMANMore than a century later, in 1960, I had an opportunity to visit the Welsh coal fields near Aberdare. I had read ‘How Green Was My Valley’* so had someidea of the difficult life coal miners faced n the past. Only in 1960, however, did I become aware that my great uncle Frank Freeman lived there in aplace called Ysgeborwen. He was a butcher and our meeting was brief, perhaps an hour, but the ambience of that coal valley cannot be forgotten. Some of thecoal ‘pits’ were still operating and I distinctly remember miners coming off shift singing. Singing! Really singing. And I also rememberbeing given a brokeN clay pipe that had been excavated when an old 1840 era coal seam was being converted to an open pit mine. “The old cartswere still down there…scooped them up…that’s where this pipe stem came from. Odd. Pipes and matches were dangerous things tohave in an underground coal mine.”*How Green Was My Valley” made the Welsh coal fields famous. Even became motion picture. The book was thought tobe an accurate history of the brutality of coal mining. years later the book was determined to be fiction. Based on overheardconversations of Welsh families living in London.ALAN SKEOCHOCT. 2018
WHAT IS COAL…WHRE DOES COAL ORIGINATE?
“Did you ever wonder where coal came from?”“Plants … millions of plants I think…sort of hard to believe.”“Really hard to believe…“But true…millions of dead plants over millions of years…plants, mostly giant ferns, from the CarboniferousEra when the earth was warmer and the atmosphere had lots of carbon dioxide….plants love CO2. By chancethick beds of dead plants got trapped under water that was eventually covered with thick bands of mud. Piles of mudwhich became slate and other sedimentary stone…heavy…the heavier the overburden the more those bands ofplants were pressed…pressure so great that the plants became beds of coal. Anthracite coal was the bestkind of hard coal…also buried the deepest …anthracite coal mines are often more than 1,000 feet below the surface.SONGS THEY SANGAhhh. I’m so tired. How long can this go on?
Said if you see me comin’ better step aside
A lot of men didn’t and a lot of men died
I got one fist of iron, and the other of steel
If the right one don’t a get ya then the left one will
I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine
Picked up my shovel and walked to the line
I hauled 16 tons of number 9 coal
And the straw boss said “Well bless my soul.”
Sixteen tons what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don’t you call me cuz I can’t go.
I owe my soul to the company store.Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.
Nobody knows my sorrow.
Dark As A Dungeon, song lyrics
Song: Dark As A Dungeon
Lyrics: Merle Travis(1)
Music: Merle Travis
Come all you young fellers, so young and so fine,
And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mine.
It will form as a habit and seep in your soul,
‘Til the blood of your veins runs black as the coal.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
Where it’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where the dangers are many and the pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,
It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mines.
It’s many a man I have seen in my day,
Who lived just to labor his whole life away.
Like a fiend with his dope or a drunkard his wine,
A man must have lust for the lure of the mine.
I hope when I’m gone and the ages do roll,
My body will blacken and form into coal.
Then I’ll look down from the door of my Heavenly home,
And pity the miner a diggin’ my bones.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
The midnight, the morning, the breaking of the day,
Are the same to the miner who labors away.
Where the demons of death often come by surprise,
One slip of the slate and you’re buried alive.
A Welsh miner and pit pony partner. Photo courtesy Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, Wa
Note to READERS: EPISODE 56 IS REALLY THE CULMINATION OF THE IRISH SO SOME OF YOU
MIGHT LIKFE THIS WRAP UP OF THE JOURNAL … EPISODE 56 THEN BECOMES EPISODE 73 IF YOU
EPISODE 56 BUNMAHON, IRELAND TO EYWOOD ESTATE HEREFORDSHIRE … ALAN SKEOCH’S JOURNAL SEPT. 4 TO SEPT. 7, 1960alan skeochMay 2020THE IRISH JOB COMES FIRST:IRELAND IN SEPTEMBER 1960…KNOCKMAHON MINE. COULD IT BE REOPENED?RUINS OF THE MINE REMAIN TO THIS DAY (2020) AS TOURIST DESTINATION . IN 1960 THAT WAS NOT THE CASE…IT WASA RUIN.DR. JOHN STAM AND JOHN HOGAN…ON WAY TO MINE SITEIRELAND WAS CHARMING IN 1960…MUCH AS PICTURED IN THE FILM THE QUIET MAN.What is that expression about ebb tide? Shakespeare’s Julius Caeser where Brutus says….There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.I know this may sound silly but I have often thought of those wordswhen faced with an opportunity. Either I grab the opportunity or I letit slip away. In the summer of 1960 I had been trusted to operatea Turam electromagnetic survey on an ancient mine site on the southcoast of Ireland. A place called Bunmahon where copper had beenmined in the19th century and there was just a chance the old mine couldbe brought back to life.I was in the right place at the right time.The previous summer four of us…called ‘instrument men’ …who operateda Turam job in south west Alaska near the Aleutian Chain. One man, Bill Morrson,knew how to set upthe generator, base line, read the console, etc. I was assigned to be his helper. Bill taught me all theins and outs of prospecting with the Turam. The other two fellows,Don Van Every and Ian Rutherford also were instructed. That was1959.[POLICE KEPT WATCH ON OUR WORKThe following year much to my surprise i was the only person still around who hadoperated the machine. The other three guys had gone God knows where.I was on the ebb tide…riding high. Entrusted by Dr. Norman Paterson tosleuth out the old mine in Knockmahon, County Waterford, Eire. Dr. JohnStam, a professional geophysicist would interpret the Turam Readings.John Hogan wold do the geology. Itwas up to me to get the magnetic data…to make sure the Turam worked.Ireland in 1960 was exactly as tourist photos described.Local newspaper arrived occasionally … as did police …even the village priest…all kept close eye on us.“ALAN, DO YOUR REALLY NEED ALL THOSE EMPLOYEES?” Question raised by Canadian office.MY BOSS IN CANADA, DR. NORMAN PATERSON WONDERED WHY SO MANY MEN WERE HIRED. THERE WERE GOODREASONS. THIS IS PAYDAY … PAID MEN WEEKLY AND GAVE BONUS OF CIGARETTES AND CHOCOLATE BARS. YES,I WAS CRITICISED FOR THIS LARGESSE.MUCH MONEY WAS SPENT IN KIRWIN’S PUB. MOST OF THESE MEN WERE EMPLOYED BY US. TERRIBLE NEEDFOR JOBS.I RENTED THIS OLD TRUCK A COUPLE OF TIMES. NEEDED CRANK. FLOORBOARDS HAD GAPS.THIS IS THE TURAM…E.M. UNIT AT WORK IN AN IRISH WHEAT FIELD.IF WE HIT HIGH READINGS WE OCCASIONALLY HAD MEN DIG PITS DOWN TO BED ROCK.LOTS OF MYSTERY AS A REJULT OF SOME OF THESE EXCAVATIONS SUCH AS THEDEAD COW CAPER …LED TO DISCOVERY OF OLD MINE ADIT FROM 1850’S.June, July and August…I did my job. Tried not to let anyone down.This was a big responsibility which I took very seriously. There was asocial side of the job as well like A pint ofGjuinnes each night with Dr. Stam and John Hogan in Kirwin’s [ubhelped all of us relax. We hired the whole village. I will explainthat in future episodes. Perchance a few readers of these episodessaw the John Wayne, Maureen Ohara, Barrie Fitzgerald movie titled‘The Quiet Man”…an imaginary story about Ireland that was damnnear true. Surprised. Joyful.When the job ended. The Ebb tide came once more I made a fastdecision without prompting. After crating up the mining equipmentand shipping it ask to Canada. I set sail on the EBB tide forEngland. This was my chance to see if EYWOOD REALLY EXISTED.Truth be told I had no idea where I was going. Eywood was in HerefordshireEngland. First I had to get there. If I failed I would still fly home. Just a fewdays later than Dr. Paterson expected. My job was over anyway. Fastdecision to catch that Ebb Tide to Eywood.Perhaps my journal entries are the best way to describe thisadventure. Remember I was going almost blind but not totally.I had a name…Cyril Griffiths whose mother Polly had been inconstant letter writing contact with my grandmother from 1905 untilher death in 1954. And I had a name…Lower Wooten Farm somewherein Herefordshire, perhaps close to Eywood. Eywood itself wasa blank. The Estate, to my knowledge, had been put up for auctionand then demolished.Why go there at all? There was a sense ofmystery about the estate and just a chance that the estate gardens…where Granddad was head gardener for a decade…just a chancethat huge brick walled garden was intact.JOURNALSunday September 4, 1960Bunmahon,County Waterford,Southern IrelandPacking up the job. Has been an exciting time. Mr. and Mrs. Daye presented me with twofigurines. Mrs. Kennedy, the village leader, gave me a fine tablecloth. Tommy gave Me a nicebottle of Guiness Stout.CRATED EQIPMENT … BIG RESPONSIBILITY FOR ME…FLATTERED TO BE TRUSTED.In the afternoon I hired Barney Dwan to help crate up our equipment. Very sad to leave.Barney has been my right hand man. Later Dr. John Stam and I drove to Tramore for afast game of mini golf and a meal of fish and chips topped off with a bottle of Bass Ale.I am going to miss all in the village. Managed to hire quite a few of them so became amajor employer paying them one pound a day plus free packs of Wild Woodbine cigarettesand chocolate bars. Back in Canada, Dr. Norman Paterson wondered why I needed so manyemployees.THE SOUTH COAST OF IRELAND IS DOTTED WITH HISTORIC RUINSHERE ARE THREE OF THE BOYS TAKING A REST. THE CATTLE HAD TO BE PREVENTED FROM EATING OUR GROUNDEDCABLE…BUT COULD NOT BE STOPPED. LITTLE BALLS OF COPPER WIRE WERE VOMITTED…OR PASSED.THIS YOUNG BOY WAS HIRED TO GUARD OUR GROUNDING RODS AND GENERATOR FROMCATTLE AND SEMI WILD PIGS. HE TOOK THE JOB VERY SERIOUSLY. CAMPED THERE.“Cost of labour here is so cheap…. ten men amounts to less than cost ofone man in Canada. And I need ten men to protect our base line for the cattle keep eatingchunks of the cable then regurgitating balls of yellow sheathed copper wire. Try to stopthis from happening. Also need a man to lift me over the stone and brier fences. Soundsstupid, I know but these fences are a nightmare. Danger that a bull would charge and I cannotget away with console, battery pack, copper coil, record book, etc. Need another two mento protect our grounding points and tend the motor generator. Then need two linecuttingcrews…etc. etc. Want more Dr. Patterson”Barney Dwan told me a story about a nun crossingan open field. All they found of her were her shoes with her feet in them. Semi wild hogsgot her. Not sure I believe this story.”I will miss all these men. Just getting to know all their names and meetingtheir families and now we are packing up the gear. I will also miss Kirwin’s pub in theevenings. Quite a social hub. It does not take long to develop at taste for Guiness.MONDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 1960We finished crating all the equipment and made arrangements with Frank Kirwin totransport the crates to Waterford. Seemed like all was ready. Not so. I couldnot find my return tickets home…flight. Panic. Mrs. Kennedy helped…no luckso she called a great group of the villagers to her home. Why? Seemed strangeto me as well. “Master Skeoch has lost his tickets home. He needs our help.”There were about a dozen people gathered in the sitting room. Some got downon their knees and prayed. Others held hands in a circle. Then Mrs. Kennedy didthe strangest thing. She reached in the pile of records, papers, graphs,waste paper and pulled out my tickets…one reach only. I know this sounds farfetched but it was real. After that I took a family photo of the Kennedys. Bridey, mymaid (yes, I had a maid) presented me with an Irish handkerchief. You rememberBridey…she was the person who yanked the covers off me while inked andannounced “Time for Mass, Master Skeoch” and made certain I attended even ifI was a Presbyterian. Because of her we did not work on Sundays as we didon bush jobs in Canada.THIS IS THE KENNEDY FAMILY. MRS. KENNEDY RAN THE VILLAGE REALLY. SHE HAD THE ONLY STORE IN TOWN. HER SONGERALD WAS HANDICAPPED AS YOU MIGHT NOTICE. HE FOLLOWED ME AROUND AND WAS A JOY. THEIR LABRADOR DOGWAS TRAINED TO KEEP GERALD FROM WANDERING INTO THE SEA. MR. KENNEDY WAS A FARMER.The boys all came to see me off. Very sad farewell, This has been a bigadventure for everyone including me. Would it mean the rebirth of the village?That would remain to be seen. (It did not happen)Tommy, Frank and I drove to Waterford in the old truck. Met John Stamand John Hogan. Picked up newspaper that had featured our crew andthe attempt to reopen the old Knockmahon mine. Then I caught thetrain to Dublin and road in the first class compartment…like John Waynedid in the The Quiet Man movie. Seemed I had been reliving that movie.TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1960Woke early and enjoyed the full tourist breakfast…several eggs, sausages, rasher of bacon,fried tomato, marmalade and triangles of toast…then coffee. Viisited Arbuckle, Smithand Company to finalize arrangements with KLM airline for my flight home.Then went shopping in the rain. Portable clock,27 shillings, sixpence;Sweater for Marjorie, 3 pounds, 10 shillings; three fake shillalahs , 40 shillings;2 pints of Guiness, 2 shillings; gifts for Kevin Behan and family, 10 shillings.Rented a slide projector and showed slides of Bunmahon job to the Behanfamily who had hosted me so well in Dublin. Kevin became name of our first sonin distant future … named after Kevin Behan.Back to hotel late…deep sleep…too deep as it happened.WEDNESDAY , SEPTEMBER 7, 1960Late awakening. Alarm clock did not work. Had a hell of a rush to make theferry boat to England. Miss that boat and all my plans to visit Eywood Estatewould be ruined. “Can you get me to the docks fast?”, I asked the taxi andwe speeded through the streets of Dublin. Made it by skin of my teeth.Boat trip was uneventful but nice.Where was I going? I really did not know. Caught a train out to Herefored whichseemed a good place to start since Eywood was in Herefordshire. What to doin Hereford? I looked up the name of Cyril Griffiths in the telephone book. Feltlost really. The train platform emptied. I was almost alone. Almost.“Can I help you son?”, asked a well dressed older man.STRANGE EVENT HAPPENED: “Yes, you can help maybe. I am looking forCyril Griffiths who lives at Lower Wooten Farm somewhere in Herefordshire.”Just saying that made me realize this venture was really stupid.“I know CyrilGriffiths and know Lower Wooten Farm, perhaps I can give you a lift there…nearthe village of Almely…some distance from here. I am the local bank managerfor Cyril.”CYRIL AND NANCY GRIFFITHS. NEAR RELATIVES. THEY OPERATED OATCROFT FARM ON THE EYWOOD ESTATE UNTIL THEESTATE WAS BROKEN UP. THEN THEY OPERATED LOWER WOOTEN FARM PICTURED BELOW. WONDERFUL PEOPLE.What a surprise. The whole Grifiths family were expecting me. Mom had sent thema letter that maybe I would arrive in early September. Shy greetings. Cyril andNancy Griffiths, aunt Polly, and their son David who was about 14 years old.HERE THE WHOLE GRIFFITHS FAMILY IS OUT FOR A FORMAL PICTURE. OUR PATHS WOULD CROSS MANY TIMESFROM 1960 TO THE PRESENT.THIS PICTURE IS BACKWARDS BUT GIVES GOOD VIEW OF LOWER WOOTEN FARM. PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A SUBSEQUENTVISIT. MARJORIE IN DOORWAY. ON THAT TRIP WE CAUGHT A HEDGEHOG ONE EVENING…IT CURLED UP LIKE A BOWLING BALLSO WE BOWLED WITH IT A FEW TIMES THEN IT TRUNDLED AWAY TO THE FENCEROW.Lower Wooten Farm was a storybook farm. Built in the 16th century and designated anhistoric building that could not be changed. The Farm was wonderful. A bed was ready.The floors were uneven. The ceiling was held up by oak beams. The roof was ancientslate. (SEE PICTURE)THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8, 1960Beautiful day in a wonderful setting. Young David took me around the farm where wehelped Cyril debeak turkeys so they would not cannibalize each other I assumed.Then Cyril drove us into Eardislely, a quaint black and white 16 th century village.In the afternoon we drove to a farm auction near Leominster.VISIT TO EYWOOD …EYWOOD AS IT REMAINS TO THIS DAY…A RUIN.“Alan, I expect you will want to see Eywood. Not much to see anymore. The greathouse has been demolished…just a few brick walls and the stone entranceway remain.but your grandfathers place is intact…the gardens were bought by Henry Mills.I know him well. He will be glad to see you.”END PART THREEPART FOUREPISODE 57: COMING NEXT: EYWOOD … WHAT REMAINS OF A GREAT ESTATE
According to local lore, the Rock of Cashel originated from Devil’s Bit, a mountain 30 km north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock’s landing in Cashel.
Buildings on the Rock
The earliest and tallest of the Cashel edifices is the very well preserved round tower (28 metres, or 90 feet), which dates from c.1100. Its entrance is 12 feet from the ground, necessitated by a shallow foundation (about 3 feet) typical of round towers. The tower was built using the dry stone method. Modern conservationists have filled in some of the tower with mortar for safety reasons.