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Another story is that a monastery once stood on the ground occupied by the pool, but a spring burst forth close to it, and swelled to such a height that the waters quickly covered the monastery, and formed Colemere, beneath which the chapel bells may yet be yearly heard ringing.

Another variant runs as follows:

"They say that the old church at Colemere was pulled down by Oliver Cromwell, and the bells thrown into the mere. Once an attempt was made to get them up. Chains had been fastened to them, and twenty oxen had succeeded in drawing them to the side, when a man who had been helping said to someone who had doubted their being able to raise them: 'In spite of God and the devil we have done it.' At these words the chains snapped. The bells rolled back into the water. They heard the sound, and saw by the bubbles where they had settled, but they could not see anything more, nor has anything ever been seen or heard of them since." Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 67.


The Berth Pool near Baschurch lies at the foot of the Berth Hill, a very curious entrenched camp on an eminence in the midst of a morass, where it was once intended to build the parish church. But the same mysterious" something" which interfered. with the building on the height also threw the bells intended for it into the Berth Pool. Horses were brought and fastened to them, but were quite powerless to draw them out. Then oxen were tried with better success; but just as the bells were coming to the surface of the water, one of the men employed in the work let slip an oath, on which they fell back, crying, "No! never!" And they lie at the bottom of the pool to this day. "Three cart-ropes" will not reach the bottom of the Berth Pool.-Ibid., p. 68.


Between Oswestry and Llanymynech, close beside the railway, lies a pretty little pool called Llynclys, or Llyn-y-clys, which is variously interpreted to mean "the swallowed hall," or "the lake of the enclosure." Early in this century there were many who believed that "when the water was clear enough" the

towers of a palace might be discerned at the bottom; only, as the author of the Gossiping Guide to Wales observes, "unfortunately there never appears to have been a day when the water was clear enough." The legend which tells of the destruction of this palace-though now, it seems, forgotten -is recorded in an old MS. history of Oswestry, preserved in the British Museum, and communicated to the present writer by Mr. Askew Roberts of Croeswylay, Oswestry, the author of the Guide aforesaid. It is as follows:

"About twoe miles of Oswestry within the parishe there is a poole called llynclis of which poole Humffrey Lloyd reporteth thus: German Altisiodorensis preached sometime there against the Pelagian heresie. The King whereof, as is there read, because hee refused to heare that good man by the secrett and terrible judgment of God with his pallace and all his househould was swallowed up into the bowelles of the earth. Suo in loco non procul ab oswaldia est Stagnum incognite profunditatis llynclis id est vorago palatij in hunc dictum. In that place whereas not far from Oswestry is nowe a standing water of an unknown depth called llynclis that is the devouring of the pallace." Llynclys Pool is one which has "never a bottom to it."Ibid., p. 68.


The great mere at Ellesmere is the subject of many legends, or rather variants of one legend, all bearing on the same notion of wickedness punished by a flood. Where Ellesmere stands was once as fine a stretch of meadow-land as any in the county. In a large field in the midst of it there was a well of beautiful water, from which everyone in the neighbourhood used to fetch as much as they pleased. At last there was a change of tenants in the farm to which the field belonged; and the new-comer was a churlish man, who said the comers and goers trampled down his grass. So he stopped the poor people coming to the well with their cans and buckets as they had been used to do for years and years, and allowed no one to draw water there besides his own family. But no good came of such hard dealings. One morning, very soon after the people had been forbidden to come, the farmer's wife went out

to the well for water, but instead of the well she found that the whole field was one great pool, and so it has remained ever since. But the farmer and all of his family who held the field after him, were obliged to pay the same rent as before, as a punishment for such unneighbourly conduct.

A correspondent of Shreds and Patches, in 1881, picked up another version. Both are evidently genuine folk-tales.

“A many many years ago, clean water was very scarce in this neighbourhood." All that could be got, was what was fetched from a beautiful well in the very middle of what is now the mere at Ellesmere. But the people to whom the land belonged were so grasping that they charged a half-penny for every bucketful that was drawn, which fell very heavy on the poor, and they prayed to Heaven to take some notice of their wrongs. So the Almighty, to punish those who so oppressed the poor, caused the well to burst forth in such volumes that it flooded all the land about, and so formed the mere. And so thenceforward there was plenty of water free to all comers.-Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 69.

A third variant has been versified by the Rev. Oswald M. Feilden, vicar of Frankton, near Ellesmere :

I've heard it said, where now so clear
The water of that silver mere,

It once was all dry ground;
And on a gentle eminence,
A cottage with a garden fence,
Which hedged it all around.

And there resided all alone,
So runs the tale, an aged crone,

A witch, as some folks thought.
And to her home a well was near,
Whose waters were so bright and clear,
By many it was sought.

But greatly it displeased the dame
To see how all her neighbours came
Her clear cool spring to use,
And often was she heard to say,
That if they came another day,
She would the well refuse.

"Upon this little hill," said she,
"My house I built for privacy,
Which now I seek in vain :
For day by day your people come
Thronging in crowds around my home,
This water to obtain."

But when folks laughed at what she said,
Her countenance with passion red,
She uttered this dread curse:

"Ye neighbours one and all beware!
If here to come again you dare

For you 'twill be the worse!"
Of these her words they took no heed,
And when of water they had need
Next day, they came again.
The dame, they found, was not at home,
The well was locked: so they had come
Their journey all in vain.

The well was safely locked. But though
You might with bolts and bars, you know,
Prevent the water going,

One thing, forsooth, could not be done,
I mean forbid the spring to run,

And stop it overflowing.

And all that day as none could draw,
The water rose full two feet more

Than ever had been known;
And when the evening shadows fell,
Beneath the cover of the well

A stream was running down.
It flowed on gently all next day,
And soon around the well there lay
A pond of water clear;
And as it ever gathered strength,
It deeper grew, until at length

The pond became a mere.

To some, alas! the flood brought death; Full many a cottage lies beneath

The waters of the lake;

And those who dwelt on either side
Were driven by the running tide
Their homesteads to forsake.

And as they fled, that parting word
Which they so heedlessly had heard,
Though now recalled, I ween!

The dame was gone, but where once stood
Her cottage, still above the flood

An island may be seen.

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'Oh, aye, sir, it's Kettlemar.' 'How deep is it ?' 'Oh, it's no bottom to it, and the tother's deeper till that, sir!'"


The Ladies' (or Lady's) Walk at Ellesmere is a paved causeway running far into the mere, with which, more than forty years ago, old swimmers were well acquainted. could be traced by bathers until they got out of their depth. How much farther it might run they of course knew not. Its existence seems to have been almost forgotten, until in 1879 some divers, searching for the body of a drowned man, came upon it at the bottom of the mere, and this led to old inhabitants mentioning their knowledge of it.-Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 77.

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In the same region is Haveringe-mere. If a person in sailing over it calls out: "Prout Haveringe-mere, or allethorpe cunthefere," a storm arises at once and swamps his boat. These words convey an insult, as if it were said to the lake: "Thou art called Haueringemere," ie., Hauering's mere. Both (lakes) are on the borders of Wales. The above puzzling extract is from Gervase of Tilbury, which was communicated to the Rev. H. B. Taylor, in the belief that the meres mentioned in them were probably to be identified with Ellesmere and its neighbour Newton Mere.-Ibid., p. 72.


The White Lady of Kilsall haunts the dark walk beside the pool in the grounds of that old-fashioned mansion. She is said to

be the ghost of one of the Whiston family, who were owners of Kilsall, near Albrighton, in the time of Elizabeth, and whose name is still preserved in that of "Whiston's Cross," in the same neighbourhood.-Ibid., p. 77.


Two versions are here given, one in the vernacular, the other in vulgar English: "Naw, Ah nivir 'eerd tell as anny think


'ad bin sin o' leate 'ears, but thur was a marmed seed thur wonst. It was a good bit agoo, afore moy toime. Ah daresee as it 'ud be a 'undred 'ears back. Thur wuz two chaps a-gooin' to woork won mornin' early, an' they'd in raught as fur as the pit soide in Mr. -'s faild, an' they seed summat asquattin' atop o' the waëter as did skear 'em above a bit! Eh, they thought as 'ow it were gooin' to tek 'em roight streat off to th' Owd Lad 'is sin! Well, ah conna jööst sea ezackly what it were loike, ah wunna thur, yo' known; but it were a marmed, saëm as yo' readen on i' the paëpers. The chaps 'ad loike to a runned awea at first, they wun that skeared, but as soon's iver the marmed spoken to 'em, they niver thoughton no moor o' that. 'Er v'ice was se swate an' se pleasant, they fell in lŏŏve wi' 'er thur an' then, the both on 'em. Well, an' 'er towd 'em as 'ow thur wuz a treasure 'id at the bottom o' the

pit, loomps o' gowd, an' dear knows what. An 'er'd give 'em all as iver they liked if se be as they'd'n coom to 'er i' the waëter an' tek it out of 'er 'ands. So they wenten inwelly up to their chins it were-an' 'ei dowked down i' the waëter an' brought ŏŏp a lŏŏmp

o' gowd, as big as a mon's yed, very near. An' the chaps wun joost a-goin' to tek it off 'er, an' the won on 'em say: 'Eh,' sez 'he (an' swore, ye known), 'if this inna a bit o' luck!' An' moy word! if the marmed didn't tek it off 'em agin, an' give a koind of shroike, an' dowked down agen into the pit, an' they niver seed no more on 'er, not a'ter; nor got none o' the gowd; nor nobody's niver seed nothink on 'er since."

The following is a translation:

"No, I never heard anything had been seen of late years, but there was a mermaid seen there once. It was a good while ago, before my time. I dare say it might be a hundred years ago. There were two men going to work early one morning, and they had got as far as the side of the pond in Mr. ---'s field, and they saw something on the top of the water which scared them not a little. They thought it was going to take. them straight off to the Old Lad himself! I can't say exactly what it was like, I wasn't there, you know; but it was a mermaid, the same as you read of in the papers. The fellows had almost run away at first, they were so

frightened, but as soon as the mermaid had spoken to them, they thought no more of that. Her voice was so sweet and pleasant, that they fell in love with her there and then, both of them. Well, she told them there was a treasure hidden at the bottom of the pond-lumps of gold, and no one knows what. And she would give them as much as ever they liked if they would come to her in the water and take it out of her hands. So they went in, though it was almost up to their chins, and she dived into the water and brought up a lump of gold almost as big as a man's head. And the men were just going to take it, when one of them said: 'Eh!' he said (and swore, you know), ' if this isn't a bit of luck! And, my word! if the mermaid didn't take it away from them again, and gave a scream, and dived down into the pond, and they saw no more of her, and got none of her gold. And nobody has ever seen her since then." No doubt the story once ran: that the oath which scared the uncanny creature involved the mention of the Holy Name.-Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 78.

Some Old Gardens. BY J. A. SPARVEL-BAYLY.

ARDENING was, as we know, one of the first arts acquired by man. Culinary, and afterwards medicinal, herbs were matters of importance to the head of every family, and it soon dawned upon primeval man that it would be more convenient to have them within reach, without the trouble of seeking them at random in woods, in meadows, and on mountains, as they were wanted. When the earth ceased to furnish spontaneously all those primitive luxuries, and culture became. requisite, separate enclosures for rearing herbs and fruits grew expedient. Those most in use, and those demanding the greatest care and closest attention, probably entered first, and gradually extended the domestic enclosure. That good man Noah, we are told, planted a vineyard, drank the

wine of his own making, and unfortunately became drunken. Thus were acquired kitchen gardens, orchards, and vineyards. No doubt the prototype of all these was the garden of Eden; but as that Paradise was a good deal larger than any we read of afterwards, being enclosed by the rivers Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates, and as every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food grew in it, and as two other trees were also found there, of which not a slip or sucker now remains, it does not enter within the scope of the present article. After the fall, no man living was suffered to enter the garden, and the necessities of our first ancestors hardly allowed them time to make improvements on their estate in imitation of it.

When Adam delved and Eve span
Who was then a gentleman ?

A cavern and a slip of ground, such as we see by the side of a common, were in all probability the earliest seats and gardens; a well and a crock succeeded the Pison and the Euphrates. As settlements increased, the orchard and vineyard followed, and the earliest princes of tribes possessed just the necessaries of a farmer. The garden of Alcinous, in the Odyssey, is the most renowned in the heroic times. Is there an admirer of Homer who can read his description without rapture? or who does not form to his imagination a scene of delight more picturesque than the landscapes of Titian? Yet what was that boasted Paradise with which

The gods ordain'd

To grace Alcinous and his happy land. Why, divested of harmonious Greek and bewitching poetry, it was a small orchard and vineyard, with some beds of herbs and two fountains that watered them, enclosed with a quickset hedge. The whole compass of this much-vaunted garden enclosed just four acres.

Four acres was th' allotted space of ground
Fenc'd with a green enclosure all around.
The trees were apples, figs, pomegranates,
pears, olives, and vines, and

Beds of all various herbs for ever green,
In beauteous order terminate the scene.

This garden of Alcinous, planted by the poet, was enriched by him with the fairy gift

of eternal summer, and no doubt an effort of imagination surpassing anything Homer had ever seen. As he has bestowed on the same happy prince a palace with brazen walls and columns of silver, he certainly intended that the garden should be proportionately magnificent. We are sure, therefore, that as late as Homer's time an enclosure of four acres, comprehending orchard, vineyard, and kitchen-garden, was a stretch of luxury the world at that time never beheld. Previous to this, however, we have in the sacred writings hints of a garden still more luxuriously furnished-we allude to the Song of Solomon, part of the scene of which is undoubtedly laid in a garden. Flowers and fruits are particularly spoken of as the ornament of and the produce of it, and besides these, aromatic plants formed a considerable portion of the pleasure it afforded. The camphor and the cinnamon-tree, with frankincense and all the chief spices, flourished there. Solomon tells us in another place that he made him great works, gardens and orchards, and planted in them trees of every kind. Indeed, we must suppose his gardens to have been both amply and curiously furnished, seeing the kinds, nature, and properties of the vegetable tribes appear to have been a favourite study with the royal philosopher; for we are told that he wrote of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon down to the hyssop of the wall. Fountains and streams of water, so requisite in a warm climate, appear to have had a share in Solomon's compositions, and were probably designed for ornament as well as use. The hanging gardens of Babylon were a still greater wonder; but as they are supposed to have been formed on terraces and the walls of the palaces of that great city, whither soil was conveyed for the purpose, we may here dismiss them by presuming that they were what sumptuous and expensive gardens have been in all ages until this present day-enriched by artistic works, statues, balustrades, summer-houses, and the like—and altogether unnatural, far from rural, though formed with judgment and taste, and well adapted to the situation and circumstances. Thus we find King Ahasuerus goes immediately from his banquet of wine to walk in the garden of the palace. The garden of Cyrus at Sardis, mentioned by Xenophon, was probably like

the hanging gardens at Babylon, not merely adjacent to the palace, but a part of the building itself, since several of the royal apartments were absolutely under the garden. It is not quite clear what the taste for gardening was among the Greeks. The Academus was, we know, a wooded, shady place; and the trees appear to have been of the olive species. It was situated beyond the limits of the walls, and adjacent to the tombs of the heroes; and though we are nowhere told the particular manner in which this grove or garden was laid out, it may be gathered from Pausanias that it was a pretty place, highly adapted by art, as well as by nature, to philosophic reflection and contemplation. We are told by Plutarch that, before the time of Cimon, the Academus was a rude and uncultivated spot; but that it was planted by that general, and had water conveyed to it. Whether this water was brought merely for use to refresh the trees, or for ornament, does not appear. The trees are said to have flourished well, until destroyed by Sylla when he besieged Athens. Among the Romans, a taste for gardening any otherwise than as a matter of utility seems not to have prevailed until a very late period. Cato, Varro, and Palladius, make no mention of a garden as an object of pleasure, but solely with respect to its production of herbs and fruits. The Lucullan gardens are the first we find mentioned of remarkable magnificence, though probably as these were so remarkable they were by no means the first. Plutarch speaks of them as incredibly expensive, and equal to the magnificence of kings. They contained artificial elevations of ground to a most surprising height, buildings projected into the sea, and vast pieces of water made upon land. It is not improbable from the above account, and from the fact of Lucullus having spent much time in Asia, where he had an opportunity of studying the most splendid constructions of this nature, that the gardens were laid out in the Asiatic style. He acquired the appellation of the Roman Xerxes. Perhaps his gardens bore some resemblance in their arrangement and style to the Babylonian gardens, and thus the epithet would be applicable to the taste, as well as to the size and cost of his works. The Tusculan villa of Cicero, though often

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