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Bretton is a hamlet in Derbyshire, overlooking the valley known as Bretton Clough. It is not large, but Childermass is perhaps a little unfair to dismiss it as "Three houses and an inn high on a bleak hill[30]." The Barrel Inn in Bretton is rather a fine one, and some have considered the hills thereabout to be very nearly as sublime as the Alps.

Bretton is the place where the last reader of the King's Letters lived, and so it was to Bretton that Vinculus travelled to discover the meaning of the script written on his body[67].