Popish Crosses

Another snippet from Cecil Torr’s Small Talk at Wreyland:

“my grandfather writes to my brother, 16 January 1862:- “I enclose a piece of poetry, which was sent to me, on the old Cross Tree at Moreton. the stone cross erected there with a bason [basin] on the top to contain holy water, you are aware is a relic of Popery. there was one at Chagford like it until some 3 years ago the lord of the manor, old Mr Southmead, destroyed it cross and all, for he had such a dislike of popery. I have known others in town-places, but this at Moreton is the last that I know of remaining; and the old tree is going to decay. I should tell you that some 50 years or more ago Mr Harvey’s house was an inn, and the innkeeper had the interstices of the tree floored over like a room, and people used to go up and drink and smoke, and all holyday times dancing was kept up for many nights together. I have danced there and drank there with good jovial parties; times were different then.” And he goes on to mention other people who used to dance there – people whom I remember in their old age, sedate and solemn, and looking as though they had never danced anything less stately than a minuet. “


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