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Real Gnomes in History

A far less romantic aspect of the garden gnome was that during the rule of Hadrian of Rome in the second century as he would have hermits residing in his gardens to protects them. In later years in England around the 18th century, this practice would resume and rich property owners had positions available for a person to live onsite to protect the garden and were called ornamental hermits.

The job had very stern criteria that needed to be followed and it involved being silent, adorne old clothing, and adopting hermit aspects while residing in an old shack on the grounds