Commemorated in an anonymous Victorian poem entitled ‘A Legend’ is the story of Tom Treneman, a fifteenth-century squire of Sowford House, Ivybridge, who reappeared in his kitchen after his funeral, frightening his scullion to death. Twelve parsons were summoned, got a halter round the ghost’s neck, and led him to Black Anne Pool in the River Erme, which rises on Dartmoor and flows through Ivybridge on its way to Bigbury Bay. There Treneman was given the endless task of making a beam of sand. When the river is in spate, the grinding of boulders is said to be Tom
roaring for more rope.
The poem is cited by Elias Tozer in 1873, and by various more recent writers: Tozer recalled how as a boy he had thought he saw Treneman working by the river, wearing a red cap.