Daffodils flank the approach to Bred-ardine’s church, where the Victorian icar Francis Kilvert spent his last years d left us a vivid impression of life in this ral area. One of the more bizarre beliefs corded in his diaries as late as 1871 was at you could discover the identity of a ief by enclosing a live toad and a scrap
paper inside a ball of clay, and boiling i . While the toad was boiling, it would cratch the name of the thief upon the aper!
Many of the villages of the Welsh arches are associated with medieval astles where Englishmen slept with their ands on their swords. Little remains of ost of them now but Brampton Bryan nd Richard’s Castle, more information , Croft and Lyons-all, Clifford and Snodhill, Longtown
d Llancillo, Pembridge and Wigmore, ilpeck and Goodrich, all had defensive astles lined up along the English side of the border.
These and other small castles, nearly all replacing wooden castles dating from the Norman Conquest, were built in stone in the 12th and 13th centuries by English Marcher lords to protect their domains from the marauding Welsh. The largest and mightiest of them, Goodrich, was originally Godric’s Castle, sitting majestically on a high ridge dominating an important crossing of the Wye. William de Valence, Earl of Pem-broke, who built the castle we see today, was King Edward I’s uncle.
Today the border-land makes very fine walking country, peaceful and pictur-esque, with Offa’s Dyke, that massive earthwork of antiquity, running through it intermittently. This was the Mercian king’s border, separating Wales from England, and is now a popular national long-distance footpath.If yoy want to maka a tour of Britain check this hotel price comparison to learn more about hotels, gueast houses and prices.
The unspoilt country between the woods and meadows of the Wye Valley and the looming Black Mountains of Wales provides some of the finest scenery you are likely to find anywhere in England, and so it is a fitting place to bid farewell to one of our prettiest but least known counties.
In Search Of Emma
May I reply to your correspondent’s enquiry about the alleged twin sister of Horatia, daughter of Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton, (Letters, Issue 66).
According to one biographer (W. Guerin, 1981), Horatia did have a twin sister who was apparently christened Emma, although Nelson himself was led to believe that she had not survived. Nothing further is known of Emma except that she was later placed in the hands of an orphanage.
If she subsequently married a man called Williams, as Mrs Wilson suggests in her letter, and a direct blood descendant can be traced, a DNA test could establish the veracity of this remarkable story because her twin sister Horatia’s descendants are still alive today and are members of the Nelson Society.