Stump is the resident hermit at Crundells. He has a grubby brown robe and a bad sense of humour. He is of uncertain age (and teeth), and has an incredibly long beard, that trails, comet-like, behind him. When he stops, by some unknown source of momentum, his beard continues, piling up on his head. His hand is mostly fingernails.
His name is Stump, although, as the man himself reveals at every possible injunction, he is not often stumped. He has been following herming and its various accompaniments- piety, sobriety, celibacy and the pursuit of true wisdom- for the past 57 years. The herming business runs in the family on the male side, with the skulls of various family members kept on a shelf in the grotto. While dispensing the knowledge that all paths lead to the grave and that celibacy should be widely practiced, the profession does have a week's holiday every year, on the basis that one cannot live on snails and herbs of the riverbank alone. It seems, however, that this time is sufficient for his social life, as he has a wife and a son.
Of course, the position of hermit was a noble one in the old ancestral homes- they were like sapient garden gnomes, giving the place a romantic air. They are not allowed to bathe- explaining Stump's whiffiness of the nose- but they did get a salary of two pounds of potatoes, three pints of beer, three loaves of bread and one pound of pork dripping per week, as well as the aforementioned snails and herbs.