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THE church at Altarnun is said to have been built from the remains of an ancient nunnery which had been founded in the early days of Christianity by the saint to whom it was dedicated.

There was a peculiar sanctity about all that surrounded this little church and its holy well, and few were unfaithful enough to scoff at any of the holy traditions of the sacred place.

About the time of Charles II., an under-clerk or deacon of this church was called Peter, and he is said to have been a man of exceedingly bad character. He scoffed at holy things, and--unless he was belied--he made use of his position for merely temporal benefit, and was not remarkable for his honesty. He was, moreover, the terror of the neighbourhood. Common report insisting on it that Peter had been known to disentomb the dead, whether for the purpose of stealing rings and other trinkets which may have been buried, as some said, or for the purpose of renewing his youth, as others suggested, by mysterious contact with the dead, was not clearly made out. He was invariably called Peter Jowle, or Joule--that is, Peter the Devil. At the age of a hundred he was a gray-headed, toothless man; but then, by some diabolical incantation, he is said to have caused new black hairs to spring forth amongst those which were white with age, and then also new teeth grew in his jaws. Peter is said to have, died when he was more than a hundred and fifty years old.

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