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29 October 2014

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July 2003
The Wild Man of Orford returns
Weekend of 5th/6th July 2003
The Merman
The Merman, by local craftsman, Michael Wickwar

The Merman who came out of the sea, to terrify the villagers of 12th century Orford, is returning to Orford Castle for one weekend only, with special activities for children.
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The Wild Man of Orford returns to Orford Castle on Sat and Sun 5th & 6th July.

and activities from 10am on both days.

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The Legend
Legend has it that the Merman, or the Wild Man of Orford as he is sometimes known, was caught in a fisherman's net and brought to Orford Castle.

The Merman
He was naked and covered with hair and he would not speak, even when tortured and hung by his feet by the custodian Bartholomew de Glanville and the chaplain, Wimar.

His eating habits, such as pressing fish between his hands until all the juice was expelled, and the fact that he showed no signs of reverence or belief when brought into the church made people think he was more devil, or even French spy, than man.

After a few days he was allowed to go back into the sea for a swim, guarded by a line of nets, but he managed to escape. He later came back of his own free will but eventually escaped and was never seen again.

Local writer and historian, Jenny Webb, has written a short story based on the legend. She will be reading from this, as well as talking to visitors about the fact and fiction of the legend.

Activities start from 10am at Orford Castle on both Saturday and Sunday 5th and 6th July 2003.

Activities for children

Children will be able to make puppets and drawings based on the Merman who, this weekend, will be returning to the castle as a life-sized model built by local craftsman Michael Wickwar.

A copy of the book Man of the Deep, illustrated by the children of Wickham Market Primary School, will be available to buy.

Orford Castle

Orford Castle
The castle, built for Henry II, has three 30ft towers and a maze of rooms and passageways to explore.

Admission is £4 for adults, £3 for concessions and £2 for children aged 5 to 15.

A family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) is available for £11. Entry is free to under 5s and English Heritage members.

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