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posticon derby ghosts


The Silk Mill
England's first factory was built here in 1717, on the banks of the River Derwent. John Lombe, who was possibly the world's first industrial spy travelled to Livorno in Italy to steal the patterns for making silk- throwing machines, spending his days working the machines and at night, when he should have been sleeping, copying down their plans. These he carefully placed in bales of silk destined for England. The plans were then intercepted by his father's agents and brought to Derby.
The silk-throwing machines were constructed in Derby's old Guildhall and eventually moved to what was the first purpose-built factory in England. Lombe escaped back home but three years later, so the story goes, he was poisoned by an Italian assassin from Livorno, sent over to this country to exact revenge.
The Silk Mill burnt down in 1910, and all that was saved was the bell tower. It is this tower which is known to be haunted by a little boy who was kicked down the stairs by one of the overseers for not working hard enough.
Children as young as seven were employed at the silk mill. They worked from 5am until 7pm. This little boy's cries can still be heard at the foot of the stairs where he bled to death. On many occasions staff of what is now Derby's Industrial Museum have gone into the tower, thinking that there is a child lost, but there is never anyone there. The lift operates by itself, often going up and down on its own. The Silk Mill staff check at night before leaving to make sure that no one is in the lift, as it operates so often in this manner.




The George Inn
  The shrill sound of a post horn announced the arrival of the London to Manchester coach as the tired horses picked up and flew through the streets of Derby. The large wheels clattered on the cobbles of the tiny road leading from Bold Lane to the George Inn in Iron Gate.
  As the coach pulled up in the George Yard, off Sadler Gate ostlers rushed out to hold the horses, and the coachman, wrapped in large overcoats, one on top of the other, put away his whip and climbed down from the box.
  Passengers going further had a little time for a meal in the coffee room. The George Yard was now as busy as a railway station at rush hour, with ostlers, coachmen and passengers going about the business of changing horses and getting the coach back on the road again within a quarter of an hour.
  The George Inn was one of the most famous coaching inns in Derby and was built around 1693. By this time there was a distinction between inns and taverns, as inns were not only coaching houses, but also a place where gentlemen could stay if they did not own a townhouse in Derby. Many gentlemen certainly did stay at the George. The Duke of Devonshire frequented it on many occasions and during the 1745 Jacobite uprising, used it as his headquarters, holding the inaugural meetings which led to the formation of the regiment of soldiers called the Derby Blues.
  In December 1745, the Blues held their first drill on the Holmes in Derby. They were dispatched to their billets and the duke and his officers went back to the George. At [sign in to see URL] that evening the news came that the Pretender's troops were at Ashbourne. The Duke of Devonshire held a brief council of war in the George. Would the local troops attempt to prevent the Highlanders entering Derby? After all, wasn't that why they had been formed? But no, the duke marched out of the George, took his position in front of his troops on the Market Place and gave the order: "The Derby Blues will retire". Thus they marched away towards Nottingham and left Derby to its fate.
  The following morning two Highland officers rode into Derby. They inquired after the mayor but he had also left the town, so they hammered on the doors of the George and demanded billets for thousands of troops.
  Many other gentlemen stayed at the George during its long history. In 1763, Prince Viktor Freidrich Von Halt-Benburg stayed there for two nights. The George also played host to the Duke of York and Louis IX of Hesse, Damstadt in 1771.
  Inns of the 18th and 19th century fulfilled many roles in the community, providing a place for courts, council meetings, recruiting offices, the buying and selling of animals. Doctors and dentists and vets held surgeries within the inns. In 1776, the George also took over as the post office while the one in Queen Street was being rebuilt. It also acted as a funeral parlour in 1773 when the body of Godfrey Heathcote, the Duke of Devonshire's comptroller, lay at the George en route for burial at Chesterfield.
  The George, of course, has many ghosts and mysteries, none more bizarre than the 'George Skull'. This female human skull, with a damaged cranium, was found by workmen 4ft down in a pit beneath the cellar floor. With it were animal skulls and bones, old shoes and strips of leather. Work was stopped and the skull was taken to Nottingham for forensic testing which showed that it was very old.
  Now one's imagination can run riot. Perhaps this unfortunate female was murdered and thrown into a pit or 'midden' that would have been dug in earlier days. Animals would once have been killed on the premises to feed travellers and the unwanted parts thrown into a pit. Perhaps the woman was also thrown in there to conceal the murder.
  Yet no other human remains were found, other than the skull. Perhaps she was not murdered. Perhaps those workmen digging in that cellar in 1992 came across something quite different as the George stands almost on the corner of Iron Gate and Sadler Gate, the heart of Viking Derby. 'Gate' is an old Danish word for 'street'. Iron Gate was where the blacksmiths traded and Sadler Gate was where the leather workers set up business.
  Perhaps a Viking leather worker's shop on the site, of the George was uncovered, which would account for the shoes and the discarded leather strips. The animal bones and skulls could have come from the animals killed for the leather makers. The hides would have been stripped and tanned and the off-cuts thrown into the pit.
  Maybe the damage to the side of the skull was simply done by a spade because in 1693, when the George was built, it was still customary to bury beneath the foundations of new buildings a human skull, a pair of shoes and a dead cat to ward off evil spirits and witches.
  If that was the purpose for which this skull was buried, then it has not done its job very well as the George is decidedly haunted. On two occasions a long-haired man in a blue coat has been spotted walking along the landing in the middle of the night. He has been followed down the stairs into the bar where he disappeared, although there was apparently nowhere for him to go as the George was well secured. Crockery moves itself from the racks in the kitchen.










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Nov/20/2008, 6:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: derby ghosts


Derby Cathedral
The rapid increase in the population of England in the late 19th and early 20th century resulted in the creation of new bishoprics and several hitherto 'ordinary' churches becoming cathedrals. There was neither the time nor the money to build the sort of grand new cathedrals which had risen in Norman times, and new bishops were designated existing churches as their seats. Thus, in 1927 All Saints' Church in Derby became Derby Cathedral.
Thought to have been founded by King Edmund in 943AD, All Saints' has been altered considerably over the centuries. At the beginning of the 18th century, the only thing that could have been said to have been striking about this church was its tower, 212ft tall - the second highest parish church tower in England - and built in the time of Henry VIII.
In 1723 the church was deemed unsafe and it seems that no one was prepared to do anything about it until a particularly courageous churchman, Revd Dr Michael Hutchinson, ordered that the entire structure - except the tower - should be demolished
The decision was unpopular with local people but shortly afterwards plans for the rebuilding were submitted by James Gibbs, who became famous for many of his churches including St Mary-le-Strand and perhaps his most famous work, St Martin-in-the Fields, in London. The designs for a new All Saints, were accepted and work soon began, resulting in the magnificent church which we know today as Derby Cathedral.
Working in association with Gibbs was Robert Bakewell, an ironsmith whose striking wrought-iron screen remains one of the most notable features of the Cathedral's interior. Other notable features include the remarkable baldachino; several memorial carvings, many to notable Derbyshire families, one of which is Bess of Hardwick's monument which was built and completed within her own lifetime.
Another interesting memorial is a tablet on the south wall near the steps to St Katherine's Chapel, which commemorates an historic visit from Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who visited All Saints' in December 1745. The Young Pretender had marched with his army virtually unchallenged from Carlisle. On reaching Derby his troops were stationed about the town and the prince is said to have ordered the bells of All Saints' to be rung and, with his officers accompanying him, he attended a service at the church.
Several ghosts are said to haunt the vicinity of Derby Cathedral including that of Charles Edward Stuart, seen by a lady who lived in a building, now a shop, across the road. She told me her story of how she often sees a man in Jacobite dress walk into the Cathedral: "On many occasions I had seen the vague ghostly shape of a man in Jacobite costume walking near the Cathedral. Being familiar with the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his visit to Derby I presumed that it was the prince recounting his footsteps, perhaps trying to understand how it had all gone wrong for him. My mother once saw this figure and she too was convinced that it had been the ghost of Bonnie Prince Charlie."
It is interesting to note that a ghostly figure in 'Cavalier' style dress has also been spotted not too far from this spot at the Silk Mill public house.
Many other ghosts have been seen about Derby Cathedral including a 'white lady' seen walking down the steps at the back of the church, a young woman seen crying and a small boy.
Also said to wander the grounds is the unhappy ghost of John Crossland, a former executioner, originally himself a criminal, who was granted a pardon on the understanding that he become the executioner for the sentence of death passed on his father and brother. This he agreed to do and from then on became the busiest executioner in the county, frequently being used by several other shires. His ghost is said to be seen often wandering the grounds, at the side of the Cathedral, seeking to find peace for his tormented and guilty soul.

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Re: derby ghosts


St Mary's Church, Bridge Gate
St Mary's Church was built by Augustus Pugin, who also drew designs for the Houses of Parliament. Before 1840, Catholics in Derby were allowed to worship only in the Catholic Chapel in Chapel Street, but with the large influx of Irish immigrants to Derby with the building of the railways, land was purchased on Bridge Gate for a new Catholic church. It was, incidentally, Pugin's the first Catholic church and although he designed over 100 churches altogether, St Mary's has always been considered his masterpiece.
The ghost of a priest has been seen on the right-hand side of St Mary's Church. The story goes that a newly- installed priest was coming down the stairs with three other priests.
Arriving in the main church the new priest mentioned to the others that he had not realised that there would be four other priests there that day. The others looked confused and told him that he must be mistaken as they were only three and he now made four. The new priest looked shocked and told the others that they had not long been seated upstairs for their meeting when an older priest with grey hair had joined them.





The Headless Cross
The Headless Cross -
Derby suffered several times from the plague, perhaps being worst affected in 1592 when 464 people perished. Local farmers refused to trade with the townspeople and it is said that grass grew in the Market Place from lack of people and business. As the plague continued, it was feared that there would be a famine until, at last, farmers in the surrounding countryside agreed to trade with the people of the town under the condition that money for the payment of provisions was left in bowls of vinegar at the Headless Cross on Nun's Green. The farmers returned later to collect their money.
The 'Hedles Cros', or 'Broken Crosse', as it has been recorded, is thought to date from the 14th century and by the 15th it had been recorded as already having lost its top. At one time the cross was moved to the Derby Arboretum park, where it stood for many years, having a reputation even then of being haunted. Eventually the Headless Cross was moved back to the top of Friar Gate, probably quite close to where it originally stood.
Two ghosts have been seen near the Headless Cross, one of which is said to be that of a dog sitting. The other is alleged to be the figure of a lady in grey - although she is sometimes in white - 'coming out of the stone'. Some claim that the ghost of another lady which is often seen on the Arboretum is in some way connected with the cross, whilst others believe that the same ghost now haunts both Friar Gate and the Arboretum park.





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Nov/20/2008, 6:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: derby ghosts


Little Chester's Roman Ghosts

There is much evidence to suggest that as early as 80AD, a Roman fort existed besides the River Derwent, at Little Chester, which the Romans called Derventio. Archaeological excavations of the site revealed that the defences of the fort were rectangular in shape, enclosing an estimated area of seven acres, being surrounded by two deep ditches placed l00 ft apart. A clay rampart was later added, and later still the site was reinforced with a thick stone wall some I0ft to I5ft high.

  The playing field and car-park at the junction of City Road and old Chester Road is probably where the main headquarters building stood. it is also thought that several other buildings occupied the site, including an infirmary, an armoury and other smaller units making the whole site of Little Chester self-sufficient.
  Although no inscriptions have yet been found at Little Chester, there are references from other ancient sources where the later name Derbentione, appears between Lutudarum and Salinac in a seventh-century town listings (the Ravenna Cosmography). The only indication as to how many soldiers were stationed on the site lies in the size of the fort, which covered seven acres and therefore had to have housed one of the bigger auxiliary forts. The largest cavalry units (Alla Milliaria), meaning a thousand horsemen, was believed to be stationed in Britain, at Stanwix, on Hadrian's Wall. The unit appearing to be most suitably placed at Little Chester would have been a Cohors Equitata Milliaria, which consisted of ten centuries of infantry, and in total five of these units were stationed in Britain.
  Much of the site at Little Chester has been excavated, although there is almost certainly a great deal yet to be uncovered. Some interesting finds, however, have surfaced at the site, amongst which is a grindstone block, crudely carved in the shape of a shrine containing within it the nude figure of a horned man. This was found in the last century by a gardener digging near the River Derwent. This grindstone block, known as the Mercury Stone, has so far been the only carving found at the site, and although originally the figure was thought to represent the Roman god, Mercury, it is now believed to be the horned god of the Brigantes whose cult became combined with that of the Roman deity. The Mercury Stone is at present on display, at Derby Museum and Art Gallery. The carved stone figure is also believed by many to represent a horned god of fertility, worshipped by ancient pagans and still held sacred by modern-day witches.
  In November 1978, a burial ground was discovered when trees and undergrowth were being removed by bulldozers on the Racecourse Playing Fields. This ancient graveyard is believed to have existed on the east side of the encampment as Roman law stated that no burials, except those of young children, were allowed within town. Other burial grounds were also uncovered on the Racecourse. One particular grave site, containing both inhumations and cremations, had unusual features: several of the interments had been mutilated prior to or whilst being buried; the left hand of one had been severed; others had been decapitated and in several cases the heads had been placed between the knees; two others had been buried face down.
  The reason for these strange rites at the time of burial perhaps dates back to an old superstitious belief concerning witches and dark sorcery. When a dead person was believed to have been a witch or black magician, or in any way connected with magic and witchcraft, it was the custom to bury them face down or remove their head in order that they should not rise from the grave and haunt the living.
  Another grave site, not far from where the mutilated remains were found, consisted of three male bodies, one of which was found to have two coins placed upon him. These coins were probably placed there in the belief that they would be accepted by the deity Charon, whose job it was to ferry the souls of the dead across the dark waters of the River Styx on their journey to the Underworld.
  Many buildings at Chester Green, especially those buildings close to the remains of the excavated Roman encampment, are known to be haunted. One interesting story comes from a lady who lives in a house whose history probably dates back to a time when part of the building was used for storage by the Romans, Although the ghost has not made a personal appearance he, or she, has manifested themselves in other ways. The ghost frequently clears away household rubbish, closes opened curtains in the living room, and has been known on several occasions to wash dirty crockery, much to the appreciation of the owner.
  Another instance, seemingly more frightening, is the appearance of a spectre which is said to resemble a Roman centurion. One Derby man claims to have seen this figure one dark, foggy winter's evening whilst walking home from work. "The ghost," I was informed, 'Just glared at me with very large eyes." This gentleman went on to state that he had not waited about to question the apparition but had hurried home to the waiting comfort of his front room and a stiff drink.
Many times over the last decade, I have received requests from Meople living in the Chester Green area, who have asked me to investigate a haunting that they feel they might have. Several of these people had indeed disturbed forces within their homes, whilst others were perhaps suffering from over-active imaginations.
  Other ghosts have been seen in the area, including a whole regiment of Roman soldiers, seen and heard marching one night near the River Derwent. The apparition of a ghostly child with snow-white hair has been observed near the site of a Roman well. One lady who has lived in the area for many years claims that the area of Little Chester has always had the reputation of being haunted by sinister things. This lady also claims that since excavations have been carried out in the area in 1978, even more ghosts have been seen. She further stated that the excavations has disturbed spirits which would of been best left untroubled, in what should of been their final resting places.


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you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Nov/20/2008, 6:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 


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