Posts Tagged ‘18th Century’

No I didn’t forget spell check, that’s the inscription on a monument at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire. It’s never really been explained and so gathers curiosity even now.

The Shugborough Inscription is carved on the 18th Century monument, below a mirror image of a painting ‘Shepherds of Arcadia’ by painter Nicolas Poussín. The inscription became known more widely having been mentioned in a 1982 book, ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’.

The monument dates between 1748/63 and contained between the letters D and M sits an inscription OUOSVAVV. The letters DM are seen on Roman tombs, Diis Manibus which means “dedicated to the Shades”.

A google search will give you many offers for resolutions, perhaps it’s just a version of Grafitti or a secret message between one lover to another. This writer is happy to leave the code busting to others.

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The cemetery is located in Liverpool and has been recently granted money to restore the Jewish plot. A good thing too as it’s another piece of history that we shouldn’t let go to waste, well that and of course there’s always a good ghost story or point of interest if I’ve dug it up to read about right?

The Dean Road Cemetery is a burial ground that has been used for numerous Jewish families dating back to the 17th Century. It fell into disrepair sometime in the 18th Century, and residents around the area have said they heard children’s screams in the middle of the night or in the houses the doors slammed and furniture would sometimes be found moved without explanation.

Some of the older houses on the street may well have been part of the slave trade, slaves were undoubtedly kept in some horrific conditions in larger homes as the basements could be used to keep them away from prying eyes during the 198th Century. There have been reports of screaming, scratching sounds, loud footsteps, doors shutting and locking… and even possession.

The Cemetery Website

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Eccles has the remains of a village, it was claimed by the sea in the 17th Century. The storm that night also took over seventy houses and 300 hundred lives, no doubt then that the area has a story or two to tell, and that it is said on the low tides there are places to see parts of the village under the water.  It stuck in my mind as a child when my uncle told me that people had claimed to hear the bells on the low tide but hearing them portents death and storms.

A search about this area says that skeletons from the Churchyard still wash up ashore on occasion. The tower of the church was visible in 1986 when there was a fall in the sea level low enough to expose some of the Eccles area and Happisburg looks like it might follow the same fate. A shame too as it has rather interesting little stories that might not get a chance to be visited if this does happen, Coastal erosion seems to be threatening the area but it seems that the defences are not being bolstered at this point.

And now on to  the ghost! The spectre was first reported 1765 with two farmers making their way home, they were frightened by a hump-backed shape in the moonlight and as their eyes adjusted they realised the human (?) had neither legs nor a head. However as it came near them they saw it did indeed possess a head but the strange hump was the nearly severed one that rested on its back attached to the neck by a thin strip of flesh.

The spectre/shade they reported had apparently got on sailor’s attire, and against its chest clasped a rough brown sack. It was followed by the two scared but curious men, who watched it disappear into a wall, before they left to inform the village council. It was decided they would put the story to the test and investigated the well it had disappeared into.  A man was lowered down and he found a sack which was apparently the one that matched the description of their ghost, inside they found a pair of boots in it but more disturbingly they found the man’s legs still inside them.

The well was then drained, they found another sack with a torso in sailors clothing and then attached to it by a narrow ribbon of rotted skin was the head. Around the body’s waist they found a belt with a pistol tucked into it, the villagers then traced the tracks back and found signs of a fight, it was felt that smugglers had begun a fight over their spoils and the other had been shot and hacked up before being deposited down the well.

The ghost appeared regularly on moonlit nights and was heard moaning at the bottom of the well, that is until it was closed over by a pump, all seemed well until the pump was removed and the horrid groans were heard once more. They decided to recap the well with the pump and it went quiet once more but then again when it went quiet they removed it and sure enough the ghostly figure began to float around once more.

Site I rather hope this isn’t the end for a fascinating place, I had it on my list of things to visit for a start…

Alchemy is used for a lot of modern stories including Harry Potter. For instance without Alchemy the fabled Philosophers Stone wouldn’t be in our midst. One of the more famous aspects of alchemy is the idea of changing lead to gold. Another thing they aimed for was the Panacea, a remedy to prolong life and cure all known diseases.

Fundamentally one of the things that alchemy can claim to be is that they bore the fathers of chemistry. Studies of alchemy also influenced Isaac Newton with his theory of gravity. It has not just been about changing base metals to rich ones, it has helped shape modern science. Practical alchemy saw its roots into science around the 17th century, it was brought to light by Robert Boyde who wrote The Skeptical Chymist, alchemy’s use and popularity saw it’s decline in the 18th century with a push for rationalism.

One of the best series I ever watched to do with this was Fullmetal Alchemist. I admit to spending hours back to back watching it. They tackle the idea of human transmutation using Alchemy…  the game I have for this is more of a beat ’em up but none the less alchemy inspired.