Charlotte Dymond Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1456077

Date first listed: 24-Jul-2018

Location Description:

Statutory Address: Near Roughtor Ford, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, PL30 4PQ

Map

Ordnance survey map of Charlotte Dymond Memorial
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address: Near Roughtor Ford, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, PL30 4PQ

Location Description:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Breward

National Grid Reference: SX1386881760

Summary

A granite memorial obelisk to the murdered servant Charlotte Dymond who was killed nearby on the edge of Roughtor on Bodmin Moor in April 1844.

Reasons for Designation

The memorial to Charlotte Dymond, on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historical interest: * its rarity as a highly unusual mid-C19 memorial to a domestic servant paid for by public subscription; * the macabre details of the story have continued to capture the public imagination in the region and become a significant part of Bodmin Moor folklore; * the story has been immortalised in a poem by Charles Causley CBE, Cornish poet and writer.

Architectural interest: * as a well-crafted granite obelisk with stylish and emotive inscriptions and a distinctive pyramid capstone; * the robust granite form reflects the geological character of Bodmin Moor and its plain style befits the tragedy of the murder that it is commemorating; * it is little altered.

Group value: * with nationally important multi-layered historic landscape at the Roughtor Scheduled Monument and with a Grade II clapper bridge.

History

On Sunday 14 April 1844 Charlotte Dymond, a servant at Penhale Farm in Davidstow, was murdered on Bodmin Moor. Matthew Weekes, also a servant in the same household, eventually confessed to slitting her throat with a knife following an argument. Initially, Weekes returned to Penhale denying any knowledge of her whereabouts. However, concerns of her continued absence led to Weekes fleeing the house and Charlotte’s body was discovered near Roughtor Ford soon afterwards. Weekes was apprehended in Plymouth, tried and found guilty of the murder. He was executed at Bodmin Gaol on 12 August 1844. An estimated 20,000 people from across Cornwall congregated outside the gaol to witness his hanging.

A sensational event in the region at the time, the murder of Charlotte Dymond engendered much sympathy for the victim. A monument paid for by public subscription was erected on the site of the murder as a memorial. The monument is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1891 and remains intact in its location on the edge of the moor.

The tale of the murder of Charlotte Dymond, and speculation over what took place, has become firmly embedded in the folklore of Bodmin Moor and has inspired poems, songs and ghost stories, including The Ballad of Charlotte Dymond by Charles Causley.

Details

A memorial obelisk of mid-C19 date. MATERIALS: constructed of granite, parts of which are dressed. DESCRIPTION: an obelisk, square on plan, and resting on a granite stone base. The lower half of the shaft is rough-hewn; the upper half is dressed and inscribed: THIS/ MONUMENT/ is ERECTED by/ PUBLIC/ SUBSCRIPTION/ IN/ MEMORY/ OF/ CHARLOTTE DYMOND/ who was MURDERED here/ by/ MATTHEW WEEKES/ on/ SUNDAY/ April 14/ 1844. At the apex is a dressed pyramidal capstone.

Sources

Other
Royal Cornwall Gazette - Execution of Matthew Weekes, Friday 16 August 1844
Royal Cornwall Gazette - Murder near Camelford, Friday 26 April 1844,

End of official listing