Benefactor for the poor from the early 1800s through the Jarvis Charity
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The Rev Francis Kilvert:
Victorian clergyman and noted diarist
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Other famous connections:
King Arthur has a mythical connection with Arthur's Stone, the neolithic tomb or cromlech sitting atop the hill between Bredwardine and Dorstone. The impressive elongate stone table measures 5.8m x 3.5m (19ft x 11ft 4") and although it does not qualify geometrically as a Round Table, there are many legends associated with it as a meeting place for Kings and Knights, with King Arthur supposedly having fought a king here, broken his back and buried him beneath the stones. More prosaically it is known to have been a burial place for the people of the region 5,000 years ago, and is in fact a chambered tomb which has lost its earth mound covering. It is also at the northern end of one of the earliest-reported ley-lines (see also Alfred Watkins below) with the sacred mountain of Skirrid Fawr visible at the other end, fifteen miles due south.
Alfred Watkins' association with Bredwardine comes from his interest in Arthur's Stone as a point on a ley-line reportedly connecting Snodhill Castle, Urishay Castle, Longtown Castle, Old Castle, Hatterall Camp and Skirrid Fawr. Alfred (1855-1935) was born in Hereford and travelled widely in the county as he developed his various interests which included photographic processes and equipment, and archaeology. He believed that ancient trackways, trading routes and burial paths established alignments which he called ley lines, which might be marked by standing stones or other features of the landscape. His theory was supported by some and ridiculed by others, but his classic 1925 book, "The Old Straight Track" is still in print.
At the time of the Norman Conquest, John de Bredwardine was granted the Manor, and Bredwardine Castle was established beside the Wye south of the Church. The Baskervilles held Bredwardine Castle by 1227, and it passed to Hugh de Lacy in the following century. However, it was dismantled subsequently and there was no mention of fortifications by 1374. The ruined castle and manor passed from the Baskervilles to the Vaughans, and Roger Vaughan converted them to a multi-gabled house. Today there are no signs beyond the earthworks of the bailey and foundations of the keep.