Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/83

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Collectanea. 67

Hall's Close. A family named Barefoot, who lived some years back in the cottages in The Hamel (adjoining Hall's Close), where the model lodging-houses now stand, always looked for some strange sight or sound at the three months' end, and would spread the news of the appearance. The sisters " came so strong" at times that they were actually seen in broad daylight walking down Titmouse Lane. One informant says they were mostly seen separately, hardly ever together ; and this agrees with the story of an eye-witness who, some thirty-three years ago, saw " Lady Ann, in evening dress, with white satin shoes," coming from the corner of Worcester Street over Hythe Bridge. The white satin shoes, by the way, seem to have been always noticed by everyone who saw the ghost. The lady before quoted, however, tells me that the sisters were generally seen together, walking one behind the other, the tallest, who was also the eldest, going first. They were generally dressed in grey silk, and my informant remembers hearing them called " the grey ladies." At last they were laid under the Castle Mill Bridge by thirteen bishops — ordinary parsons were not good enough ! One of the bishops, who was chosen by lot, had to turn his back on the place of " laying " during the ceremony, and he is said to have died in the ensuing year. New channels were cut so as to insure a constant supply of water under the bridge. As long as a "tobacco-pipe full of water" runs under the bridge the sisters will remain quiet, but whenever the water runs dry, as has occasionally happened, they will come again.]

[At Stanton Harcourt there are considerable remains of the fifteenth century manor-house of the Harcourt family, including a small domestic chapel with a tower over it. This is now generally known as " Pope's Tower," owing to the fact that Pope stayed here for parts of two summers, and composed part of his Odyssey in one of its upper chambers. Close to the manor- house is a chain of fish-ponds, one of which is that alluded to in the following narratives. The first was told me by Joseph Goodlake of Stanton Harcourt, as follows : " A lady drowned herself in the little pond by the rookery at the back of Stanton Harcourt Manor House, and whenever the pond went dry she used to walk, and was seen driving about in a coach and four. She was at last laid in the pond by some parsons, and they take care that the pond is never allowed to dry up." There seems to

F 2