Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/206

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184 Corresp n de n ce .

the walls, Nanny Martin tore the paper off. Another woman, now living at Stanton St. John, told me some years since that when she was a little child her grandfather was bailiff, and that when she has been at the house, she has seen a door on one side of the room open and close, and then one on the other side do the same, as if someone had walked across the room. She used to ask her grandfather what was the cause of it, and he replied that it was the wind — but she " knew better." I also knew a man in Head- ington — George Clark — long since dead, who said he had seen Nanny Martin in the Wick Copse, but I have always found it very difficult to get any information on the subject, the people always say, " Why you know. Sir, there baant no such things as ghosts."

The accompanying sketch (Plate V.) represents the well-house mentioned by Mr. Manning. I always understood that was a bath. My father, who removed to the neighbourhood of Oxford in 1838, always said — -I do not know on what authority — that the ghost came out of this " bath," as he called it ; but some years since I mentioned the matter to a woman from the neighbourhood of Headington, and she said that was incorrect. I believe she said that she went into this place. She was not " laid " there, but in a pond on the other side of the house, still known as " Nanny Martin's pond."

I may say that in my young days there was, according to report, a " dog with saucer eyes " in Barton Lane, Headington, as also a headless lady. An aunt of mine, who was a very tall woman, was one night mistaken for the latter by a labouring man.

W^ith regard to Woodperry House (p. 69), in the Guide to the Architectural Antiquities in the Neighbourhood of Oxford, published by the Oxford Architectural Society in 1846, it is stated that there had formerly been a village and church on this site, and that about twenty years previously " a labourer, felling a tree which stood near the south-east corner of the wall of the kitchen garden .... found beneath the root the skull and part of the bones of a man." Further search showed that this had been the churchyard, and "very numerous interments were found . . . . of bodies lying side by side, in the usual direction, at no great depth, which had apparently been buried in ordinary wooden coffins." Some monumental slabs and pieces of tile pavement,