Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Friday, 29 January 2010

THE DRAGON OF MIDDLEWICH


Moston is a small hamlet just outside Middlewich, Cheshire. The whole area is steeped in a legend about a Dragon.

Middlewich Parish Church has a screen in the Venables Chapel showing the story I am about to tell you. The Venable family commemorated this event in their coat of arms.

Around the beginning of the 12th century, this area of Cheshire was under attack by a fierce dragon. Many people had died either by being attacked by the dragon or by trying to kill it.

Thomas Venables, son of Sir Thomas Venables, first cousin of William the Conqueror, stood up to rid the lane of this dragon.

He faced the dragon alone. He went to where the dragon lived, which was in the swamps of Bache Pool(Dragon's Pool/Lake) at Moston. A road now runs through this area called Dragon's Lane.

He saw the dragon and just as the dragon was going to eat a child, Thomas shot an arrow through its eye. He then finished the dragon off with his sword.

THE MURDER OF MARY MALPAS

The year is 1835 and we pay a visit to just outside Nantwich, Cheshire.

This tale is about the murder of a 15yr old girl and perhapes the wrong man accused of her murder.

On June 28th 1835, Mary Malpas was murdered, in Chapel Field, Hunsterton, Nr Nantwich.
She is buried in St Margaret's Churchyard, Betley. Her gravestone names the man whom it is beleived to have murdered her. His name was Thomas Bagguley. He was a happily married man with eight children. He was well liked and aged about 50yrs old.
The day after the murder, Thomas was found hanging. It was assumed that he had committed suicide and therefore he must have murdered Mary.
Thomas was buried at Wynbunbury Churchyard at midnight on the 1st July 1835 (This is what happened to people who committed suicide at that time,but some vicars still wouldnt let a suicide into their churchyard to be buried). This can lead you to think that perhapes Thomas was so well liked and even that some people did not beleive that he could kill anyone, that he had been allowed to be buried in the churchyard.


Mary Malpas's gravestone reads

THIS STONE
IS ERECTED BY SUBSCRIPTION
TO THE MEMORY OF
MARY MALPAS
THE BELOVED DAUGHTER OF
JOHN AND ANNE MALPAS
WHO AT THE EARLY AGE OF 15 YEARS
AND 10 MONTHS
WAS ON THE NIGHT OF JUNE 28TH 1835
MOST BASELLY AND CRUELLY MURDERED
IN CHAPEL FIELDS, HUNSTERESTON
BY THOMAS BAGGULEY
AN ELDERLY MARRIED MAN
HE ESCAPED THE PUNISHMENT OF
THE LAW, BY ADDING HIS OWN
DEATH TO THAT OF HIS
INNOCENT VICTIM.

LONE WAS THE PLACE AND DARK THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
WHICH GAVE SWEET MARY TO THE RUFFIAN'S POWER
STEDFAST IN FAITH AND STRONG IN VIRTUE'S MIGHT
SHE FELL A MARTYR O THAT AWEFUL NIGHT
NOW SAFE FROM SIN AND HARM. SHE RESTS SECURE
AMONG THE BLESSED WHO IN HEART ARE PURE.



Mary was a domestic in the service of Mr Henry Davison at Doddington Park, Nr Nantwich. Thomas was a labourer here as well.

Thomas had been home all night but at 9.30pm, his wife went to bed and he was going to follow her. She called him a few times after and he said he would be up shortly. His son saw him at 11pm and also heard his mum calling him. By 2am, Thomas had left the house.

At 1am, that same Monday morning, Mary knocked on Mrs Davison's bedroom door and asked if she had permission to leave the house and go to her parent's house as her mum was dying. Mrs Davison never asked how Mary knew about her mum but let her go. Mary locked the door and took the key with her.

Mary's body was discovered a couple of hours later in Chapel Fields, just a short distance from the Davison house by two labours named Simeon Davies and Ralph Latham. She was lying on her back, her clothes pulled above her knees, her bonnet torn and sighns of a violent struggle.

Thomas's body was found hanging in the farms cow shippon by John Shuker. John went for help and Simeon Davies and Ralph Latham helped cut down the body. All three men told police that Thomas had a pocket full of keys including Mr Davison's front door key.

Did Thomas really have that key on him or was it placed there after his death.

The coroner concluded that Thomas had climbed up a ladder and knocked on Mary's bedroom window and wrongfully told her about her mother. He had then attacked Mary in the field and strangled her. He then could not live with the guilt and killed himself. The coroner and jury found a verdict of wilful murder against Thomas.


I find this hard to believe.
Mary could have planned to met anyone that night, perhapes she had a lover and they planned to run away together but someone else found out and waited for the two to met. Perhapes Mary was going to met her lover to tell him that she was going to have his baby and he killed her.
Thomas could just have been taking a walk as he could not sleep. He might have walked this way as it would have been nearing his time to start work in a couple of hours. He could have heard Mary and her lover rowing and even perhapes seen her murder. This could mean that Mary's murder could also be Thomas's murder. He could quite easily have killed Thomas and made it look like a suicide and put Mary's key in Thomas's pocket.

I dont think we will ever know the truth.
If there is anyone who has more information, please let me know.


Doddington Cottage, nr Bridgemere, Nantwich is said to have a ghost. This male ghost is said to be Thomas.