How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
A small cache set within the grounds of the historic castle of Lydford.
Lydford is a small ancient village on the banks of the river Lyd established by King Alfred late in the 9th century as a fortification to defend the country from the Vikings and the Cornish. The village became famous for its silver pennies mined and minted locally and the stunning Lydford Gorge with the White Lady Waterfall.
Lydford has also been home to two medieval castles, one of which still remains. It was built in the year 1195 at a reported cost of £32 originally as a Royal castle given by King John to William Bruere in 1216 and then by King Henry III to his brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in 1337.
Throughout the centuries the castle was notoriously known as ‘a strong house for keeping prisoners’, and by the 18th century, it was used purely as a court of law and gaol being described as ‘being a place most odious, filthy and vile...'. The court and prison earned a grim reputation for hanging defendants in the morning and passing judgement in the afternoon.
In 1900 S. Baring-Gould mentioned in his 'A book of Dartmoor' a poem attributed to William Browne in 1644:-
"I oft have heard of Lydford Law,
How in the morn they hang and draw,
And sit in judgment after:
At first I wondered at it much,
But soon I found the matter such
As it deserved no laughter.
They have a castle on a hill;
I took it for some old wind-mill,
The vanes blown off by weather.
Than lie therein one night 'tis guessed
'Twere better to be stoned or pressed
Or hanged, ere you come thither."
Lydford Castle's role continued right up until the early nineteenth century when it was abandoned in preference to a new prison built at Princetown to house French prisoners of war. This has since become the infamous Dartmoor Prison.
Further information on Lydford Castle can be found here.
Ybbx nebhaq gur abegurea pbeare nern, ba onax oruvaq gerr.