Part eight of Andrew's column                                                                                                Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Do you know these myths and legends?

















Did the highwayman Dick Turpin once sleep in this Nantwich cottage?

Picture: Andrew Lamberton

I REALLY enjoy reading the "A Dabber's Nantwich" website and keeping up with what is happening in Nantwich.  I was born and raised in Nantwich and my mother, grandparents and great grandparents were all born there.  I still spend a lot of time in town, but have recently moved away. This is only temporary, thankfully.  It's still a wonderful town, but I feel recent developments have the potential to spoil "old Nantwich".
   When I was growing up in the 1970s there were a number of Nantwich legends and myths that were passed down but I'm not sure if they continue today. Have you heard of any of these?
   Dick Turpin: It was alleged by many living on the Millfields estate that Dick Turpin once slept in an old barn down Marsh Lane.  The barn used to be on the left-hand side of the road when travelling out of Nantwich, and just before Dig Lane.  The barn was demolished a few years ago now.
   The Three Bridges Ghost: It was alleged that a headless ghost haunted the "three bridges" along the canal.  If you walk out of Nantwich along the canal bank towards Audlem, you eventually come to two bridges: an old farm bridge and the


Nantwich-Shrewsbury railway bridge.

    This is actually two bridges, I suppose, but I always recall them being called the three bridges.  I had a frightening experience night fishing as a teenager up there, seeing what I thought was a ghostly figure in the fields at about 1 o'clock in the morning. I ran back home without dismantling the fishing rod.

  Hospital ghost: The Nantwich ghost known to most people over the age or 50 or 60 years of age is the one at the Barony Hospital where a ghost was said to stalk the corridors. 

   Boulders along Dig Lane: If you follow Dig Lane off Marsh Lane you come to a farm lane.  If you continue along the lane there are many large boulders.  It was alleged that these were used during the English Civil War. I'm not sure what they were used for, but I remember a number of people telling me this.
   Nantwich proverb:  My grandmother (born in the 19th century) told me an old Nantwich saying which went something like this: "Cut your finger at the aqueduct, cut your throat by the time you reach The Square."  In other words, by the time


you've walked to the town square the story you've been told has been exaggerated.
   Just thought I would share these thoughts.

Dr Adrian R Gourlay, Loughborough

MAY 2010

Andrew replies:

I'm certainly intrigued by these stories, Adrian. In the first, you are referring to Hawke's Cottage, Edleston. See, above, the photo I took of this cottage in the 1970s.

   I wrote about this cottage in my book "Lost Buildings around Nantwich" and said: "There are stories (unsubstantiated) that it was frequented by Dick Turpin."

    It was certainly a pub at one time called the Raven. I know that Dick Turpin was also supposed to be associated with the Hawk Inn at Haslington.  

   The boulders off Dig Lane and the Civil War connection are interesting. Not long ago I was in Drake Lane in the same area (at the back of the Dorfold Estate) and realised where the name of the Lane had come from. During the Civil War, small cannons called drakes were used - probably against Dorfold Hall itself.

    I am convinced that the name has nothing to do with male ducks!






Mount View Cottages

Where are Mount View Cottages?

I ENJOYED looking at the old photographs of Nantwich on the website.
   As some of my ancestors lived at Mount View Cottages on Millstone Lane I thought I'd like to visit Nantwich and take a photo myself.

   From the Census I know that these cottages were next to the now-demolished Tannery but I'm not sure whether they are still standing and if so whether they are to the left of right of he modern apartments.

   My ancestors were some of the many shoemakers in Nantwich which is no doubt why they lived and worked near the tannery.

  There were quite a few "Clogger Robinsons" in Nantwich, I hear!
Paul Robinson

MARCH 2010


Andrew replies:

Mount View Cottages are the terrace of cottages which runs virtually from the Crofts up to the new apartments (above). These apartments are known as Monks Orchard and are built on the site of Harvey's Tannery.

   The cottages on the right of the apartments (pictured right), which have gardens in front, also



belonged to the tannery but were built later. The end house of the original row, nearest to the apartments, is bigger than the others and that was the tannery gaffer's or foreman's house (left).                 Harvey's Tannery  

Family shocked by disposal of items

MY husband recently found your pictures, etc. on the website concerning the demolition of the Hacienda, Shrewbridge Road.

   I have to say that the family were quite shocked and unhappy about the disposal of items, particularly the stained glass.

    From another picture I note that Marsh Mount seems to have been tidied up. There were stained glass panels in that front door depicting poets - Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Milton (I think) and Byron (I think).

    I am especially interested in the reproduction of the cottage painted by Herbert St. John Jones. That is the painting I have been trying to trace as it belonged to my mother.

   There was also a different painting at the Nantwich Museum, older I think. Can you tell me anything about them please?

    A house belonging to my Uncle Jack [John Ellson, the pork butcher] was a large Victorian one which went through from South Crofts, near to Dysart Buildings, to The Gullet. Uncle Jack moved there around 1930.

    I believe congratulations are in order for your latest books.

Mary Vitkovich (nee Ellson), Newark, Nottinghamshire                              MARCH 2010



Andrew replies:

WITH regard to The Hacienda, I understand that some of the interior items went to Yorkshire but some might have been incorporated into the new houses on the site - although I'm not sure.

    I had forgotten about the stained glass panels at Marsh Mount. I'll try to get to see them.

    The painting, "The Old Cottage" (actually Shenton's Cottage), was taken from the album of Herbert St John Jones in the possession of Nantwich Museum. This album contains copies of the original paintings that he did but I have no idea where the original is.

    The house occupied by your Uncle Jack is still standing. It was divided into two some time ago. However, one half has been empty for some time and developers are keen to demolish it, together with Shakeshaft's old house (right), number 17 The Gullet, which backs on to Richmond House.

    The size of the land occupied by both properties would make it worthwhile for development and I think it will only be a matter of time before the inevitable happens - the final family moves out and the developers move in! 



The home of Nantwich pork butcher John Ellson from around 1930. It is now divided into two parts. Note the fence in the front gardens.     Pictures: Andrew Lamberton 

UPDATES: No 17 The Gullet was refurbished in 2011. The left-hand side of the semi-detached houses was demolished and rebuilding began in December 2012.

    At the same time there was scaffolding round the right-hand half.

   The left-hand house is now completed.



The Hacienda | Marsh Mount / "The Old Cottage" | The Gullet | Books | Paul Ellson

How many people are there living in town?

Hi Andrew, I have just been looking at your web site for Nantwich and found it very interesting.

    While searching I tried to find the population of Nantwich and could only find reference to Crewe


and Nantwich. 

   I know the town has grown considerably in the last few years. Can you help?
Peter McCormick


lSteady on there, Peter. Andrew is a very welcome and useful guest writer on "A Dabber's Nantwich" website. But it is my website . . . !


(Thanks for the comments, by the way).

   In fact, this question is outside his remit, and so I asked Nantwich Town Clerk, Riddell Graham, if he could help.

   He said: "The Nantwich population is about 15,000. Crewe and Nantwich (the old Borough) was about 110,000, I think".                                 Dabber

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