When my grandmother was alive, she re-counted a story to my sister Julie. She spoke of a visitor who came to visit, a Frederick Raimes (proprietor of the Globe Polishing Company) who told my gran that she was related to Robert de Raymes who built Aydon Castle in Northumberland.

"Aydon Castle was originally built as an undefended house during a time of unusual peace in the Borders. When peace ended, the house was fortified, but even so, it was pillaged and burnt by the Scots in 1315, seized by the English rebels two years later, and subject to frequent repairs and modifications. Robert de Reymes, Aydon's builder, and once a wealthy Suffolk merchant, was left impoverished."
Today Aydon Castle is regarded as one of the finest examples of a medieval fortified manor house in England.

A few miles from Aydon Castle is Devil's Water.
" Devil's Water is a river in Northumberland, England. A tributary of the River Tyne it joins that river from the south, near the village of Dilston about 1 mile (1.6 km) south-west of Corbridge. It is formed from the waters of several smaller burns and sikes between Embley and Hackford some 5 miles to the south of Hexham."
Devil's Water is of historical interest, figuring in the Battle of Hexham.

As far as I know, this tributary has nothing to do with the devil. My own devil's water is closer to home for me. It is a small stretch of the River Wey navigation adjacent to what was once Burpham Court Farm, a rare breeds farm.
Bob Dearnley, the tenant farmer who ran the place, took his own life after an eviction notice was served on him.
May he rest in peace.


The farmer’s application to the Agricultural Lands Tribunal failed in November 2008. The application was to force Guildford Borough Council, the Environment Agency and the National Trust to carry out flood protection work. The application was rejected on the grounds that the tribunal didn’t have the jurisdiction required. The tribunal however was reported to have said that ‘with some goodwill from all the parties involved the flooding problem could have been alleviated with some minor works’ (Surrey Advertiser 16th January 2009)

Music: Rennie Foster - Devil's Water (Reprise)

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