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Veryan’s Devil-Free Roundhouses, Cornwall

The Cornish village of Veryan just a stone’s throw inland from the Roseland Heritage Coast, is an unlikely place to be concerned with the doings of the devil. But maybe in the 19th century when it was even more off the beaten track than it is today there was more cause for concern. Whatever the reason, the Reverend Jeremiah Trist built five dwellings there for his various daughters, and was it appears keen to ensure no works of Satan tempted them, for he had them constructed as roundhouses, it is said so that there were not corners where the devil could hide. The Reverend Jeremiah was a belt and braces man, as he had a cross put atop each roof.
The architecture is still striking to this day: circular wall painted in virginal white, thatched roof like a Chinese coolie hat, the cross above with its incongruous right-angles.
Mr Trist was not only looking out for his daughters, or so it is claimed: a pair of the devil-free houses stands at each end of the village, supposedly as sentinels for the place.

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