Posts Tagged ‘Yorkshire’

The village of Hayfield was found first in the Doomsday Book under the name Hedfeld and was a natural clearing in the forest at the foot of the highest point in the Peak District, and the southern-most point of the Pennine Chain. It was a mill village from the 17th Century onward and the village is a popular place for walkers, and visitors to the Peak District. There are a couple of interesting little legends about the area which is why I have picked them for the blog.

There are two churches in the area, St Matthew and St John’s Methodist Church (the third was de-consecrated and currently in use as a library) and St Matthew has existed there since 1386. It was previously at Kirksteads and was not completed until 1405, it was then largely rebuilt in 1817/18 and the remnants of the building are visible in the church crypt. The St John’s Methodist Church dates from around 1782 and claims to be the 13th to have been built, and although the building has been added too, the four main walls are entirely original.

31st August 1745 Dr James Clegg, the minister of a Presbyterian Church at nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith, wrote to the Glossopdale Chronicle (local newspaper) reporting that “hundreds of bodies rose out of the grave in the open air” from the graveyard of St Matthews Church. They then proceeded to disappear leaving Dr Clegg to remark something that sounds rather Lovecraftian or Poe in nature “… what is become of them or in what distant region of this vast system they have since fixed their residence no mortal can tell.”

The village also had its very own witch; in 1760 Susannah Huggin sold wooden weaving pins and bewitching charms. An old sailor brought one of the charms and then shortly afterwards he disappeared, she was then discovered to be back in possession of the charm. The villagers blamed her for his disappearance; she was dragged in front of the George Pub and pelted with rotten fruit and stones, to the point at which she was almost killed. Later on somebody from the Tom Hey’s Farm then took the little charm but after a series of disasters, including milk not churning and animals refusing to eat, the charm was then exorcised by a reluctant Reverend Baddeley.

Hayfield Church 0158.JPG
By Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7349638

7.50 am 21st December 1910, there was an underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No 3, in Lancashire. Lancashire is the North West of England and the place I call home (see my Pendle Post for more intriguing tales!)

On the day of the explosion there were around 900 workers on the site of five coal seams. 345 of those workers went to pit shaft three to work, four of those survived, one died immediately and one the next day. The two survivors from that were Joseph Stavely and William Davenport. One man died in the Arley Mine at pit 4 and a rescuer died in pit 3. This meant there were 344 fatalities from the disaster.

Which also leads into the reason I picked this one, Platt Lane in Westhoughton, Lancashire. The road passes close to where the miners died. Reports have come in that says that there are eyes in the hedges, miners walking along the road and an eerie mist that comes down even on the sunniest of days. There are however reports before the disaster that stated the noises of running horses would pass alongside people.

A short film on this can be located here – Link

There are reports of other haunted Colliers too.

Just across in the County of Yorkshire the Barnsley area suffered nine deaths in the 1850’s. The reports of their sightings continued until the 20th Century as the mine continued to be in operation.

Also in Yorkshire, Maltby had a report that two lads walking around the local quarry found a half-naked man drinking from a bottle of cider. The figure disappeared into the shaft, and one of the witnesses later learnt that a former miner with a drinking problem had been found dead in the area, at the slurry pit.

Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, has a slightly different legend around its pits. A tin mine shaft was named Roaring Shaft as bangs and thuds were heard from it. Not placing the matter in the hands of ghosts the noises were given to be made by Kobolds or Bucca.

Castleton in Derby had another problem in their pits; Odin Mine was supposedly traversed by Shuck. This phantom black hound might well have come in to play as the hunting hounds linked to the name of the Mine’s Norse god, Odin. Shuck appears to like travelling as he has also been reported at Matlock Bath area in Derbyshire too.

Down the road we used to have Cotgrave Colliery in Nottingham, around 1987 there was a report of a man dressed in black wearing a helmet who walked through the wall. The miner/stranger was said to have no face. Unfortunately the Colliery no longer stands and I haven’t found any other notes about it. Correct me if you have!