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
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
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
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."
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!
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
My ancestors were some of the many
shoemakers in Nantwich which is no doubt why they lived and worked near the
There were quite a few "Clogger Robinsons" in Nantwich, I hear!
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
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).
Family shocked by disposal of items
MY husband recently found your pictures, etc. on
the website concerning the demolition of the Hacienda, Shrewbridge Road.
have to say that the family were quite shocked and unhappy about the
disposal of items, particularly the stained glass.
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
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
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.
believe congratulations are in order for your latest books.
Mary Vitkovich (nee Ellson), Newark,
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
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
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
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
I know the town has grown considerably
in the last few years. Can you help?
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
the then Nantwich Town Clerk, Riddell Graham, if he could help.
"The Nantwich population is about 15,000. Crewe and
Nantwich (the old Borough) was about 110,000, I think".