Daniel Gumb


From the Parochial History of Cornwall

Daniels Gumbs House c1900
Daniels Gumbs House c.1900

Daniel Gumb, lived in the early part of the Eighteenth Century near Cheesewring, in a home which he provided for himself among the rocks :-

” Daniel Gumb, a stone-cutter, was born in the parish of Linkinhorne about the beginning of the eighteenth century. In the early part of his life he was very fond of reading, and of a reserved disposition and studious habits, so that even in his youth he acquired a considerable amount of mathematical knowledge. But he became more particularly noted through taking up his abode among the rocks of Stowes Common near the Cheesewring. Here he excavated the ground and placed strong posts under two horizontal slabs of granite, and thus formed a dwelling of the primitive order, with rocky cells and sleeping rooms adjoining of very narrow dimensions; a little walled courtlage and garden on the south side completed the premises. When he had thus finished his dwelling place, the Mountain Philosopher- for by this name he had become generally known-took home his bride Florence, also from the Linkinhorne, who brought him a numerous family all born and reared in this untaxed tenement. The mountain-top became his only ‘Place of devotion, for tradition says that he was never known to attend the parish Church or any other place of worship. His wife fully coincided with his eccentric notions and dispensed with the ceremony of churching at the increase of her family, being quite assured that ‘Daniel was a far better . scolard than the passen was.’ Under these singular circumstances it is not surprising that he was visited by many as one of the curiosities of the neighbourhood. He turned his mathematical knowledge to practical use by occasionally surveying and mapping estates, and a headstone in the churchyard shows that he had attained to a respectable ‘ proficiency in letter-making. A diagram on one of the rocks of his now ruined dwelling seems intended to illustrate ‘a problem in Euclid; , D. Gumb 1735’ on another is supposed to be the date of his marriage. But death, which lays his withering hand alike on the philosopher and the illiterate, and who cannot be barricaded against by the most ponderous masses of granite, nor foiled by the most astute mathematical disquisitions, at length, visited the narrow house of Daniel Gumb, and in 1776 he was consigned to a still narrower one. Some of his descendants long continued to follow their father’s occupation in the district.”

Daniel Gumb's house

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