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Hermit Cell

- a shelter or ramshackle house built in an isolated part of an 18th or early 19th century landscape garden to house a hired hermit. Usually primitively made out of gnarled wood or roots. Hermits' contracts usually lasted 7 years in which time they were to occupy the cell in silent contemplation, being provided with minimal amounts of food from the main house kitchens. Latter hermits proved difficult to hire (sic!) and many owners made do with a wax figurine instead.