Garstan Hundred

The Hundred is mainly the western edge of the county and includes the Garstan Level. Originally this hundred was Reslin Hundred. Marston Bryer is its main town.

  • Garstan Level – A terrace on the side of the Wensel Valley, much of which is  lands associated with Garstan Abbey. This was originally part of Croliegh Hundred.
    • Garstan Abbey – An abbey that has been in existence since not long after the destruction of Garstan Tower. Legend has it that the Abbey was founded to pray over the remains of D’Rom, so that his evil would not return.
    • Garstan Tower – (D’Rom Tower) – A ruined castle, that was once the home of the evil D’Rom. It was slighted by some force during the Reign of Edward Longshanks.  The Legend of Branwen The Twice Lived is associated with this spot.
    • Wescal – A large mining Village. The Village has no pub, but has a Village Store (including Post Office) and Catholic Church.
  • Gifham –  A Seventeenth Century Village founded by the First Baronet Fitzjames. The Village has a small church, a water-mill, village shop and Inn. It is on of the only two places in the county where a fox hunt meets. Throughout Bellhamshire the threepence bounty on foxes remains. Was the site for the first of Gifham Jack’s murders. Saw much renewal in the early Twentieth Century. The Vicar obtained his DD at Bellham University.
  • Gifham Wood – the older of the two Gifhams. Its church now being the junior of the two Gifham churches though considerably older. The church on the Howard Estate is also subordinate to the Gifham Church.
  • Gretly – A village that has its origines in the Norman Era. The Village has a Village Store (including Post Office) and Pub but no church. The church was demolished in Seventeenth Century. The is Meeting House.
  • Howard Wood – Woodland that was cleared and replanted by the Howard Family in late Eighteenth Century. Part of the Howard Estate.
    • Howard Cross – Estate village associated with Howard Hall. Village church is not in village but about a mile or so closer to Howard Hall. Village Pub is the Howard Arms. There is a row of the original village two room cottages, that the Howards had built for their worker, but most of the village was rebuilt after the death of Alice Howard by her Trust. The village has a working smithy’s and reputedly best farrier in the county.
    • Howard Hall – Stately Home of the Howard family built in the late Eighteenth Century.
  • Lynton Edge – an ancient hamlet, whose origins may go back to pre-Celtic times. There is no pub or church, though there was a police house until the 1980’s. To the east of the village there is the Lynton Circle that was reputedly destroyed by a german bomb durring the Second World War. Seeing it much after 1950 no one would believe that it had been blown up, as the circle was once more formed by apparently ancient Yew Trees.
  • Marstone Bryer – A town that grew in the ninteenth century. Up until the arrival of the railways came it had been a large village. After the arrival of the railways, Marston Bryer grew due to it having marshalling yards and workshops for the manufacture of rolling-stock. The town was once known as Martyr’s Pyre. After the famous Adam Rymer, who was Martyred there. At that time the village was known as Reslin. Seat of the District Council.

[Gazetteer]

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