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© D Heckels

Let me tell you a tale of harrowing times
For the farmers of Alnwick life wasn’t so kind
So the duke of the county extended his hand
And cut down their rents to help manage their land
So they built a great column their gratitude showed
But the Duke was not happy for the honour bestowed
For where all the money had come from at last
So he raised up the rents to what they’d been in the past

So all of thee from the south come gather around
Gaze up to the column which now can be found
Which moral for you doest speak out so loud
For me it’s the farmers for whom I'm so proud

Now there’s a tale about some bottles at the Old Cross Inn
That may make you laugh or smile with a grin
The keeper he cursed them on the day that he died
Touch them now at ur peril his widow she cried
Now I tell u the truth and this is no lie
Touch them now and be cursed, will be thee, and will die
Tis for two centuries that they have so stood
The bottles in the window left dirty for good

So all of thee who have doubt come gather around
Be welcomed the chance 0f being felled to the ground
And if that you do we will laugh out so loud
Tis the folly’s of Alnwick that we are so proud.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Nov 2010
About this poem:


One of the most imposing reminders of the Percy family in Alnwick is an eighty three feet high Percy Tenantry Column which is known locally as the Farmers Folly. The column designed by the Newcastle architect David Stephenson was constructed in 1816 and lies close to the southern end of the street called Bondgate-Without. It is one of the first sights to greet the visitor to Alnwick from the south.
Legend is that the second Duke of Northumberland (a Percy) lowered the rents of his agricultural tenants by twenty-five per cent to help them through the period of agricultural depression which followed the Napoleonic Wars.
It is said that the tenants were so grateful to the Duke that they erected the great column in his honour - topped of course by a stone statue of the famous Percy Lion which had been the emblem of the Percy family for centuries.
But the story is that the Duke, far from showing gratitude for the monument to his honour was more interested in the fact that his tenants had been able to raise the money for the monument. His reaction was to raise their rents once again - the story is however only a legend.

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Comments (5)

niah9online today!
As with all legends, a grain of truth is the basis....Alnwick...I was trying throughout the poem to match where it was buried in memory, then I saw the Percy name....wonderful history lesson Bernician...keep them coming.....Niahdancing cheering yay
D Heckels is an interesting writer, do you read his work for inspiration bernician?
Thank you both for your kind comments. I, Bernaccian am D Heckels.
Another interesting poem ... poetry is a good way of telling a story of times gone by :) are you a historian ?
laugh laugh wonderful poem yes have been there and did not dare touch bottles grin

Now the duke has made wonderful gardens and tree house resturant. mmmm i hug trees peace
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on Nov 2010
Last Viewed: Oct 8
Last Commented: Sep 2017

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