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Tapestry mystery and the Kynaston landslip | Letters


Re the “mystery” of the Bodleian Library’s Sheldon tapestry (Report, 21 March), a massive landslip at Kynaston, possibly caused by an earthquake, took place over three days, starting on 17 February 1575. Approximately 60,000 cubic metres of land moved downhill, carrying full-grown trees to an adjoining property. John Philips, quoted by Gilbert White in his Natural History of Selborne, wrote: “I nor advise, nor reprehend the choice / Of Marcley Hill; the apple nowhere finds / A kinder mould; yet ’tis unsafe to trust / Deceitful ground; who knows but that once more / This mound may journey, and his present site / Forsaken, to thy neighbour’s bounds transfer / Thy goodly plants, affording matter strange / For law debates!” The site is still marked on current Ordnance Survey maps.
Stephanie Ross
Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

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