The legend of John Harris, the English Hermit, is well known in Cheshire and North Wales. According to the story, he was 'discovered' at the age of 99 on 5th November 1809. Legend has it that he had begun his cave life when his parents refused him permission to marry his sweetheart; in return, he vowed to have as little conversation with mankind as possible and settled into the life of a hermit in a cave at Carden, later moving to Allenscomb's Cave. Since 1996, an archaeological project on the Carden Park estate suggests that there was a cave dweller there in the mid-eighteenth century although whether this can ever be proven to be Harris is not known. It is thought that behind the more 'literary' elements of the legend there may be a more interesting account of a clash of cultures in the eighteenth century, with social climbing and élite rivalry.