A local newspaper report of 1905 noted that Eckington, an ancient Derbyshire parish just beyond Sheffield, was 'until a few years ago a very ancient village. In bygone days it was approached by crossing only wild and rugged moors, cut by ravines, densely wooded on each bank, where wild beasts were yelling, and the timid shrank back afraid.' In later years it became a base for the Sitwell family, who can date their pedigree back to 1301, and are still major landowners in the area. In the summer of 1697 the intrepid traveller Celia Fiennes noted that the Inn she stayed at in Achington was a 'poor, sorry one' and was somewhat put off by the steep Derbyshire hills.
Modern Eckington may be very different in appearance from its sparse and rugged past, but it still displays many fine old buildings, and streets such as Southgate hark back to times when entry to the village would have been guided along slightly different routes than those in use today. Two of the Sitwell sisters owned property, in the last century, on Southgate itself, close to The Grange, now a residential home for the elderly where the following tale is based. In the late 1980's, Susan Herbert was a regular volunteer at The Grange old people's home on Southgate, and along with a team of other helpers, often supervised jumble-sales and other charity events to raise funds. On one particular occasion, she was lifting boxes of jumble from a downstairs room up a flight of stairs into storage, with the help of a colleague. The two women chatted away as they moved the boxes, with Susan leading the way up the stairs each time. They had done several runs when Susan noticed that her companion had become very quiet, although she could still hear her breathing clearly, and feel her close behind as she made her way up the stairs. When they reached the top, Susan turned around... to find nobody there.
Curious as to why her friend had suddenly doubled back down the stairs without saying a word, she made her way back down, to find that her colleague had not budged from the spot, and Susan had been talking to thin air! Aside from the presence on the stairs, an unexplained smell often appears in various rooms and corridors at Eckington Grange, sometimes in the middle of the night: frying bacon, although nobody can locate the source! Mosborough | Aldington | Barnsley | Barnsley | Bartholomews | Bickley | Bolton | Buckinghamshire | Chester | Cornwall | Derbyshire | Devon | Dumfries | Eastwood | Ecton | Holywell | Ireland | Norfolk | North Yorkshire | Northampshire | Northumberland | Nuneaton | Oxfordshire | Oxfordshire | Pluckley | pontefract | Ringlestone | Ringlestone | Ringlestone | Ringlestone Road | Scotland | Sheffield | Shipwrights | South Yorkshire | Sussex | sussex | Wilton Row |
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