« Lore

Episode 147: Contained

2020-07-20 | 🔗

Humans have long practiced the art of building walls and fortresses in an effort to gain control or find safety. But no place is safe from the danger we bring upon ourselves, and sometimes those tragedies stay right where they started.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
It was a moment. I will never forget. We had just rounded the curve in London's Trinity Square Gardens, and there was a massive stretch of Wall in the middle of a modern city, every single brick seem to have been highlighted by centuries of erosion and exposure, but it still stands tall. Bringing history into the
and, of course, the more knowledgeable would be quick to point out that only the first four metres of the wall are original, the top sixty percent or so, while still ancient only date. Back to medieval times, but beyond the numbers is a larger message long ago. This wall contained a city and now well that city has swallowed at home, and I think that's the thing that jumped out at me the most when I first saw it not its age, Its ancient design but its place in our world today walls are meant to create boundaries to hedge people in and even to defend against outside forces. So it felt odd to see this fragment of a wall surrounded by gleaming an office buildings instead of wrapping it all up in a protective embrace. Maybe that's because the walls of history often seem larger than
the great wall of China, for instance, is visible from space. Walls of Troy are some of the oldest in the world, while the ruins of Hadrian's, while still cut across the countryside between England and Scotland, and then, of course, there is the western wall of the Temple in the old city of Jerusalem and the Berlin Wall of the Cold war era. Walls might protect or divide or even just serve as a reminder, but at the end of the day there, a sin pull design meant to do one thing to contain us. The trouble is whenever you bring people into the picture you get more than you bargain for
humans have an almost supernatural ability to leave a trail of pain and suffering behind them. Yes, walls can hold cities or kingdoms or objects we want to protect, but they can also old something darker the shadows of the past. I'm Erin Monkey, and this is lore I haven't intended to visit that wall its situated just to the north of the eight one hundred which passes right by our real destination that day the Tower of London and talk about walls that place is rich with them. Of course, much like the roman wall. I mentioned a moment ago the tower of love.
It is a product of many areas of building, but at its core is something significant, a Norman Castle, The Normans were incredibly good at building stone. Forts. The core of the tower in London is considered by many to be the best example of their work. There are more all around England. It was all part of their strategy after invading the country and ten sixty six burst of wood fort would go up as quickly as possible and then a massive stone version would follow, setting their dominance firmly in the pages of history. But the Normans weren't content to stay in England within a century of their arrival. They were looking elsewhere with hunger and then in the second half of the twentyth century. Two things happened first, Pope Adrian. The fourth just happened to be the only English Pope in history granted King Henry the second permission to invade Ireland to bring the disobedient church there back
line a few years later in irish king arrived in England exiled from his throne and looking for help to retake it together with the Pope's wish list. This was the perfect opportunity for King Henry to cross the water and extend rule sew in one thousand, one hundred and sixty nine, the first wave was sent and it crashed over an unprepared emerald Isle. At that time. Iris settlements were not much more than ring forts either rings of earthen mounds or a circle of low stone. Walls in the face of the literally advanced Norman's. They were practically defenceless, some ice, the warriors were even reduced to throwing rocks at the invaders, but soon enough, England was embedded in a but never go away. once settled. The Normans built their own forts on irish soil, just as they In England a century earlier, they started with castles of earth and would but then soon replace them with permanent stone structures.
These new castles looked exactly as you might imagine, with a central tower or keep surrounded by curtain walls and wide ditches Compared to what the Irish had been using. These buildings were practically impenetrable. It was, and all about military might empowered, though these castles served a number of practical purposes that don't often get mention. They were residential buildings for local rulers. They served as the administrative centre for government over the surrounding people and some time We even guarded artificial fish ponds, stockpiles of provisions and other valuables matter what role they played. They were there tower
over the small wooden structures of the irish people and making a point each and every time someone glanced at them. English power was right there inside those thick stone walls, and no one was going to take it away from them. What no one could predict, though, was that uncontrollable forces would begin to chip away at those castles. The first wave happened in one thousand three hundred and fifteen, when the great european famine arrived thanks to extensive crop failures. This was a gut to both sides. Really, the English felt their belts tighten everywhere, including Ireland, but right when the Irish were rising up under the banner of Edward Bruce Brother of Scotland Robert, the Bruce of brave heart fame. The famine took the wind out of their sales, Edward died in battle, and thirteen eighteen English held on thirty years later, the plague arrived in Ireland. Roughly a third of the population. There died as a result, although
wasn't evenly spread across the island. It seems that because the English preferred to live in close quarters inside their castles and the small support communities around them, they were the hardest. By the plague. The native Irish, though, tended to live more spread out in that distance. Helped them fare better than their oppressors. And finally, the introduction of gunpowder changed the face of these Norman castles. It seems that, while those keeps and curtain walls were fantastic for repair in sword. Wielding warriors on foot. Labour law resilience against cannonballs and so the rulers in Ireland began to change their strategy leaving their imposing castles behind in favour of new smaller structures. No now as tower houses, one twenty nine King Henry, the sixth offer ten pounds small fortune back then too, Anyone who built these small tower houses around Dublin don't imagine these. As tiny buildings note tower houses were just.
Impressive as the buildings they replaced just crafted with more of an eye toward residential living. One of the best known castles in Ireland Blarney Castle with its legendary blarney stone, is a tower house so our many others that still stand today its estimated that, during that phase of castle building upwards of thirty thousand of them, were constructed all across Ireland. They became homes, yes, but they also became focal points for some of the worst of humanity and just like a piercing, scream and night. Some of those tragedies have echoed well beyond their original moment to explore. Them is to revisit some of their prior owners. Most painful mobile and if you're ready I'd like to take you there
the transition made a lot of Hence, if those enormous Norman towers were no longer defensible against new methods of warfare, then why were the people inside them putting up with uncomfortable living conditions? The tower house was the answer: a fortified home. It offered comfort in space, but no amount of renovating or expansion could eradicate the darkness inside the people who lived their home is where the heart is yes, but it's also where people can be at their worst. Countless stories about those families make that perfectly clear. Take James sharper exam, in sixteen twenty five, he oversaw the construction of a fortified home in county interim known as valid galley castle. But in an era when the success and health of a family line was based upon whether or not there was a male air. Theirs was an unhappy home after you,
is of waiting for a son. Shaw apparently became furious with his wife. Lady Isabel then had her locked in one of the tower rooms. Legend says that she either took her own life by jumping from the window or was thrown to her death either way it was a tragic end to a horrifying situation, Today the castle is a hotel, but you can still see elements of the original fortified home at its core and those who stay. There have made some unusual reports this. there's have heard mysterious noises and witnessed human like shapes inside their rooms locals, even in that a green missed can be seen hovering over the castle at night. The weather, real or not its clear, that the history of the place isn't easy to get rid of richer Nugent. The fourth floor delving was a man cut from the same cloth as James shot. In fact, he spent his entire life scrambling for the top run of the latter, no matter what
sort of pain caused the people around him. He sat in the irish parliament and eventually rose to become commander in chief of a good portion of the english forces there and finally, in one thousand five hundred and twenty seven at around the age of seventy, he became Lord Deputy of Ireland, but he reach that position. Just as England's grip on Ireland was at its weakest. Shortly. After becoming Lord Deputy, he was kidnapped by irish rebels and forced to pay for his freedom. After returning home, he decided it was time to build a safer residence and begin construction on what would become RA's castle in County Meath. The fortified home was completed in one thousand. Five hundred and thirty six here before his death, but that doesn't mean it escaped. The family legacy nutrients grandson was said to have inherited that ruthless ambition in order to keep the Irish invading his lands he was said,
have gone on many raids throughout the region, burning crops in homes and killing without prejudice. He developed a reputation for having people hanged without reason and became a terrifying figure in his day at her it was more of the same. According to legend, his daughter, Sabena fell in love with a son of a local irish chieftain from the O Reilly clan. They met while she was out on a ride along the edges of her fathers land and the two hit it off instantly for weeks. They repeated their secret meeting and sooner if they were discussing marriage, but marriage to an Irishman wasn't something her father would ever agree to. So the young couple pact, one night in mats along the shores of lake their plan, was RO across leading her fathers, land and authority behind and allow
in them to build their own life someplace knew but ass. They crossed the dark waters. A fierce storm blew in and overturn the boat, both of them washed back to shore. But while Sabena survive to her lover drowned sending her into a fit of Greece Enssaro knowing she would find. No sympathy from her father, she locked herself inside one of the rooms in the castle tower and refuse to eat or drink for days. She may have starved herself, yes, but the true cause of her death, according to the legend at least, was a broken heart and then there's county Wexford centuries before Sean Nugent. Just a year after the English invaded Ireland in one thousand one hundred and sixty nine. In fact, one of those english lords said about building a fortress for himself on a peninsula of land. At the southeast corner of Ireland, known as hook head, it wasn't the
castle. He would build in the region, but it was the one to inherit his name. He was Raymond Fitzgerald, a welsh commander and the great grandson of the last independent prince of South Wales. At his side were ten knights and seventy archers and together they ravaged the south of Ireland, but he was also a bit of a black sheep among the other commanders sent by the english crown and was known for being overly brutal. Some of his peers even claim that Raymond true goal was to take Ireland for himself, not the king, although it's difficult to prove definitively regardless his trail across the southern portion of Ireland earned Raymond. The nickname, Redmond hinting at the blood he was so eager to spill Redmond, like all of us, was mortal and passed away. Some time in the eleven. These over two centuries later in thirteen, fifty that Norman tie
or of his unhook head was also torn down in a tower house was raised in its place, the house they called Redmond Hall as the generations flickered by lives, were lived and lost and around those walls, eventually the Redmond was dropped and it just became known as the hall to those who live there and face cannon fire in the irish rebellion of one thousand. Six hundred and forty And in the blood of over one hundred, men was spilled on that land around it. But surprisingly, those aren't. The events that the hall is remembered for the most Instead, it's a series of events that began in the seventeen hundreds that put this fortified home on the map. At that point, the home.
passed into the ownership of a different family in the name of the hall had followed suit, but while names can change, darkness tends to remain the same, and in Ireland it's hard to talk the darkness of Loftus Hall. It was as the well worn introduction, always states a dark and stormy night. The year was one thousand seven hundred and seventy five and the Loftus family had hold themselves inside the rain. Home to shelter against the hard rain and howling wind lanterns had been lit. A fire burned on the hearth and the evening was destined to be a quiet one. Which is why the knock at the door was so surprising upon opening.
They found the drenched figure of a young man standing hunched over, as if the rain were pelting him to the ground quick, They invited him in and asked his business. It turns out that he was caught in the sudden storm. our house was the only light he could see through the gloom, so he had pressed his horse to reach as fast as it could. Knowing the store my rage all night, the family invited him to stay until morning after chain in close and returning to his guests group was said to have had a lovely evening together. Even Charles, the patriarch, who had been known to be called an unfriendly, took a liking to the young visitor and together they enjoyed conversation and drinks. We don't know how long he stayed or whether or not he and that one overnight into a longer visit. But we do know that, else daughter an fell in love with a young man. Her young, Sister had already married and left the house, and she was the last child left
being unmarried at thirty, wasn't hopeless by any means, but in one thousand seven hundred and seventy five. It certainly might have felt like that. But here was a lovely suitor, someone she connected with, and the pair seemed to have hit it off. when her father Charles found out about their budding romance, though he sent the young man away, some say he caught the couple in bed Others say it was just one of his general fits of anger. Either way the young man left and Anne was heartbroken, and once he was gone, Charles sent her to her bed chamber and locked the door and that, according to the legend, is where she stayed for the rest of her life. Although, that death came within a year. It's a story that invites all sorts of questions and, as we all know, questions are a breeding ground for folk lore and soon enough new details flooded in to fill in the gaps. Details that take the story to a whole.
other level. They say that one of the nights the guest was staying at last, his hall. They decided to play a game of cards and, and asked worked as a pair against her father, Charles and her stepmother, and the young man turned out to be unstoppable, almost supernaturally so but at one point in the match and apparently dropped one of her rings and bent beneath the table to grab it. When she noticed something about her guests feet, they were cloven like the devil and screamed, and the young man panicked funds, suddenly shook the room and then in a cloud of smoke, their guest vanished being only the scent of brimstone as a reminder that he had been there at all shocked by she had discovered an went mad when her father was forced to lock her away. At least that was the new version of the story.
But whether ants confinement in death were the result of seeing the devil in her own home or punishment for an illicit love affair with a guest. It's the aftermath that has echoed through laughter However, since because not long after an death strange things began to happen all around the house and despite being Protestants, the family became so desperate that they called on a local catholic priest too and perform an exorcism. They say that a man named Father, Thomas broader, arrived and cleanse the house for the family removed from room to room over the course of a few days. But when he was finished, the house was safe again all except for one room that is try ass, he might father broader, was unable to complete his work in one room and former bedroom after that years went by that bedroom was redecorated with a number of large beautiful tapestries earning at the highly creative nickname of the tapestry room. It still had a bad
in it. But there were a number of other guests rooms in the house, so it went unused for the most part But one evening in seventeen, ninety, the family, home did so many visitors that the last one to arrive had no choice and they were assigned to the tapestry room there guest, a local man named John Reed, happily settled in or a night of rest. But moments he'd blown out the candles and climb beneath the blankets, something large and heavy jumped onto the bed at his feet, and it was growing reed practically ejected himself from the bed. Bumbling through the dark, he found his luggage and pulled his pistol from within And he waved that around while shouting at the intruder, threatening that he would use it. After receiving no reply, though, it said that Red assume Intruder had entered an exit it through the chimney, so he fired a shot straight up into the darkness Amazingly John Reed would return to Loftus Hall years later
time around one thousand, eight hundred and fifteen. He came back for another visit this time with his son George, and it seems that George wasn't told about his father's prior experience. Because when he saw the beautiful tapestries in that room, he picked it as the room. He would stay and without a word of warning, from his father that night, rather than falling asleep George State up late reading, but at some point his eye caught movement and he looked over to see the door to the room open all on its own and then shut again, just as quickly passing through. It was the figure of a young woman in what he described as a stiff dress, the walk past. The foot of his bed opened one of the closet doors and then step through The following night George stayed awake with the goal of seeing the young woman again and sure enough. The same time. She had the night before the woman appeared silently entering the room before making her way toward the closet, hoping to ask her who she was
and why she was in his room, George leaped from the bed and reached for her arm, but was shocked when his hand passed right through her a moment later. She vanished, Over the years, more and more people had unusual experiences in that room in eighteen. Fifty, eight another minister name Charles Dale, visited the house and claim that something invisible jumped onto his bed and growled at him. Others repeated similar claims, but none were as Chile, as the experience had by one of the servants a decade later, because Lord of Loftus his holiday time John, had inherited the title when he was just a boy, but by his late teens, was travelling with his own, valid, Shannon and conducting business for the family, in both Ireland and across the water in England and in eighteen. Six, the eight John returned Loftus Hall to visit his mother, Lady Jane. It was
barely Shannon's first time staying at the house, so he didn't know the risks involved in being assigned to the tapestry room later that night, though, a series of screams woke the entire household who rushed out to see what had happened in process. They found Shannon writhing in terror on the floor of a room down the hall from where he had been sleeping. When asked what had happened, Jan and told them tat. He had been fast asleep when a sound woke him up. He sat up to see the curtains around the bend moving as if someone or plane with them from the other side and then without warning. They were torn wide open to reveal the figure of a woman, a woman. He said in an old stiff dress,.
we build walls for a lot of reasons. Most people use them to death and a space to separate one room in their house from another. Some people use them for privacy or protection. or a general sense of ownership, and some throughout history have use walls to assert dominance over others. At the end of the day, though, walls contained,
things whether those things are family memories or collections of real objects. The walls, senior wrap them up and hold them tight like a lovers embrace and that's a good and natural thing, but walls can do more than that. They can also contain shadows. The fortified houses of Ireland are stark reminders of the dual nature of walls. Yes, they were built to keep people out and to protect those within, but in the end, thanks to the darker side of human nature, they also ended up holding onto something more and for many of the people who visits or live inside them today that something is still noticeable back in the eighteen sixties. Johns mother, Lady Jane, had hopes that the contents of Loftus Huh
might entice the queen to pay a visit. Lady Jane had become friends with Queen Victoria, not even held the title of lady of the bedchamber to her majesty. So sometime around one thousand, eight hundred and sixty one Jane told the queen the details of the legend of Loftus Hall, hoping that she would want to come and see it all for herself. The plan failed, though in Lady Jane, moved on a more drastic methods In seven days, she had a large portion of the hall torn down and then two new, more modern manner home around it. Everything was bigger and better and more beautiful than ever, except for a few of the rooms which were preserved and re used, and that list included the tapestry room. It said that Lady Jane turn the bedchamber into a billiard room. It was a great idea really because it removes the room from the list of available spaces to sleep in new guest aloft How would I know what they were missing out on and that was mostly a good thing, except for George Reed.
Who return to see the house later in his life around the maid eighteen seventies, He arrived. He was shocked that the tapestry room was no longer available as a place to stay. Maybe he hoped to see the ghostly young woman one last time or perhaps he simply wished for a familiar space inside the renovated mansion. So he asked around about the job just one of the long time housekeepers their nodded knowingly at the question. Yes, she said that was young, an you saw, but then she seemed to withdraw from the conversation we shouldn't talk about her. The housekeeper told him. She made a horrid noise last night, knocking the billiard balls about one last thing. It said that something was discovered during their innovations of eighteen. Seventy
Something that hinted at a clue to the origins of the legend. It said that inside one of the walls of a tapestry room workers discovered bonds, but they didn't belong to an adult. It was the skeleton of a baby. Ireland is a land of story from its ancient past to modern times. There seems to be no end to the tales that have spilled out from the shores of the Emerald Isle, like some sort of magical well and while we're still visiting I'd like to take you to one last castle, because the story that surrounds it is one of my favorites stick around. After this brief sponsor break and I'll tell you all about it.
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and money this year was stamped Stockholm sign up with a promo code. Law for a special offer that includes a for weak trial, free postage and a digital scale. No long term commitments or contracts just go to staff dot, com click on them your phone at the top of the homepage and then type in the word lore that stamps dotcom offer code more staff. Stockholm never go to the post office again. hunter was in her first husband, if you're honest, that wasn't uncommon in sixteen forties, but I mention it because it was the seed of a lot of rumours about her rumours that paint her in a terrifying light, and while they might have only been stories, the true details of her life makos rumours a lot easier to fall for. Mary MC man had been married just once before. As far as historians can tell in sixteen thirty four
She married Daniel nation and a couple built a life together, but within five years Daniel was dead, leaving her with three young children to care, for thankfully, her ex husband the man, a status Conor, O Brien, was from a long line of irish rulers, high kings. In fact, marriage to him. Also meant moving into the family Tower House Liam in a castle which had been built in the one thousand four hundred by sixteen slash four. It was a little worse for wear. So the couple made some reservations which added to its size and scope, but life was more complicated than that. It seems Carter, O Brien was a bit of a hot head who had no problem rating english settlements in the area. In fact, Mary often road, alongside him, participating in these missions in wonder
I meant from one thousand six hundred and forty two. We are told that Mary and Connor let a small band of fighters out on one such raid in February of that year and brought home a wagon full of household goods. Fourteen pigs in over four hundred sheep Mary. It seems that a thirst for sure, and if the stories were true, that violence came home with her, it said that she would hang servants by their necks or hair. If people trespassed on their land, she was rumored to murder them and when she wasn't killing people, they said she was happy to engage in a bit of torture. Of course, these were the same rumours that said that she had married and killed over twenty men. The truth isn't found in the ravings of the mob or the propaganda of the jealous. No truth is found in the historical rights and while it might not include nearly two dozen murdered husbands marries, real story is more than terrifying, as it is.
it's one thousand six hundred and forty one a conflict arose in Ireland. That became known as the eleven years war. It was part of a larger conflict, all throughout Ireland, Scotland and England, known as the wars of the three kingdoms. If you ever heard names like the irish rebellion of one thousand six hundred and forty one or the first Second and third english civil wars. These were all smaller pieces under the larger umbrella of the wars of the three kingdoms. Naturally, everyone had a pic aside, marries husband, Conner, eventually gave up his life of rating local english settlements and became a commissioned officer in the royalist army. But in one thousand six hundred and fifty one during a particularly bloody skirmish, Connor was badly wounded and in an effort to save him, some of his men carried his body back to his home and tomorrow, It said Mary looked out her window and saw them approaching and assumed. Connor was dead according the legend she leaned out the window and shouted at the approaching soldiers. We want no doubt
men here, but after a quick conversation, they informed her that her husband was still alive and in need of help. Sadly, Conor O Brien died in the castle, a short while later when he did. Mary did something unusual. She put on one of our best dresses, climbed into a carriage and made the perilous journey to the nearest parliamentarian camp, the very same forces that had killed her husband and if the legends are true, she did it for two reasons, both of which require a bit of explanation first. She did it to make an offer being newly widowed. She was free to marry again and had decided that the first officer in the enemy camp to come forward with earn her hand in marriage. We don't know if any one step further
that day, but we do know that a short while later she was recorded as being married to a parliamentarian officer named John Cooper. I think it's safe to assume he was the one who took her up on that offer. But why do this most historians think that Mary saw the writing on the wall, at least for the moment parliamentarians were the horse to bet on and Mary had an estates and children to look after Marryin into the conquered side was away of buying a bit of insurance against tumultuous times, but there's a second reason for her visit to the enemy camp. That day, he gave her a chance to ask around and identify the man who fired the shot that killed her husband and Mary wasn't the sort of women who let go of a grudge. Let any one else do the dirty work when it mattered. Its that a short while later Mary herself hunted down the man responsible. I can picture her writing through the night on a black horse gun
sword hanging at her side and creeping into the parliamentarian camp to abduct her target. It said that she then hanged the man to death, putting it and to request for vengeance and allowing her life to move on. Today, she's known as Red Mary, maybe because of the color of her hair or perhaps due to all the blood she was rumored to have spilled either way, she's managed to leave a mark on the past and found a way to stick around all these centuries. Later. History like life and always neat and tidy. There are a lot of things we don't know about Mary MC man,
whether or not the rumours about her were entirely true. But we do know that she was fierce, powerful and more than a little bloody, and if history has taught us anything, it's darkness like that that can never be contained This episode of Lore was written and produced by me, Erin Mangy, with research by Robin Monitor and Karl Nellis. The music by Chad, Lawson Bore, is much more than just a podcast, there's a book series available in bookstores in online and two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check them both out. If you want more lore in your life, I also make two other pod casts Erin make Cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I thank you
enjoy both each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes. He's a long dives into a single topic, and you can learn more about both of those shows and everything else going on over in one central place, grim and mild dot com. then you can also follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just search for lore podcast, all one word and then click that follow button. Would you do say hi I like it when people say hi and as always, thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.