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Country Life Today: The man who tried to buy a field, and accidentally ended up with a 13th century castle

This morning's news round-up looks at what must be one of the most extraordinary boundary mix-ups in history, finds out how Instagram is blighting some of the nation's prettiest streets and checks up on the latest news on how Brexit might affect farming.

The farmer who went to buy a field – and accidentally ended up with a 13th century castle

The Daily Mail carries a fascinating tale of Gwylim Morris, a Welsh farmer. Back in the 1960s Mr Morris decided to buy the fields that he’d been renting, but a mix-up with the deeds meant that the parcel of land he bought included Carreg Cennen, a staggeringly dramatic hilltop castle ruin.

Morris, from the sounds of things, was delighted.

'I only popped out to get some milk...' Carreg Cennen Castle in Carmarthenshire

‘I only popped out to get some milk…’ Carreg Cennen Castle in Carmarthenshire

‘There were no deeds associated with the castle, so a firm drew up the deeds for the farm and drew a red line that went around the castle,’ said Bernard Llywellyn, Mr Morris’s son-in-law, of the deal. ‘That meant the castle was included in the purchase.

‘They quickly realised their mistake and contacted the family soon after to explain what had happened. They offered to buy the castle back.

‘They said that, being a farmer of a certain age, my father-in-law was not in a position to look after a castle. He wasn’t having any of it – he refused to sell it back.’

Mr Morris’s family have kept the castle ever since (they now run it with the help of Cadw) and have added a cafe and converted an out-building for weddings. They’ve also built a gift shop – let’s hope somebody who works there doesn’t accidentally end up selling the castle on once more.

Read more (Daily Mail)


The beautiful British streets ‘being ruined by Instagram’

‘It’s got worse and worse,’ says Ingrid, a 90-year-old inhabitant of Notting Hill, of the tourists who come to take pictures of themselves in one of London’s prettiest areas. ‘They’re sitting on my doorstep. They’re quite rude sometimes, they make a noise.’

Ingrid (and Notting Hill) are far from alone in the Daily Telegraph’s report on the ‘Instagrammable’ streets across Britain where you can barely move (at times) for people grabbing pictures to share on social media. Arlington Row in Bibury, Circus Place in Edinburgh and Blaker St in Brighton are among the other places mentioned.

Full story (Daily Telegraph)


Stat of the Day

1 football pitch per minute

The current rate at which the Amazon is being deforested. ‘Satellite images show a sharp increase in clearances of trees over the first half of this year, since Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil,’ the BBC reports.

Full story (BBC)


Brexit and farming: The £6 billion man vs the ‘whatever’ man

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt outside 10 Downing Street

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt outside 10 Downing Street

Jeremy Hunt’s pledge to support farmers with £6bn in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been doused with cold water by Tim Breitmeyer of the CLA, who said that ‘there is little detail on time frames or, most importantly, what follows once they are concluded.’

If getting beyond ‘little detail’ is the benchmark for obtaining Mr Breitmeyer’s support, we await with interest his analysis of Boris Johnson’s pledge that ‘we will support the rural community, with price support, efficiency payments, whatever.’

Full story (Farmers Weekly)


On This Day: The French naval frigate Méduse is wrecked

Theodore Gericault's 'The Raft Of The Medusa', which hangs in the Louvre.

Theodore Gericault’s ‘The Raft Of The Medusa’, which hangs in the Louvre.

It’s exactly 113 years since one of the most infamous shipwrecks in the age of sail. Breathtaking incompetence from the captain cause the French ship Méduse to run aground. With not enough lifeboats on board, some 150 souls were put onto an improvised raft which was supposed to be towed by the boats the 31 miles to the coast of Mauritania — but the raft was very quickly cut loose. There followed days of murder, suicide and even cannibalism before the survivors – just 15 of them — were picked up by a passing brig.

The incident became a scandal that inspired the 25-year-old artist Théodore Géricault to create his famous imagining of the scene. It remains one of the most famous paintings in all of French art.

Read more (The Louvre)


And finally… Football has another chance of coming home tonight

After Gareth Southgate’s England side did a great job of restoring national pride in English football by making it to the World Cup semi-finals last summer, Phil Neville’s Lionesses have the chance to go one better on Tuesday night. Fingers crossed…