Continuing Gary Stocker’s Sunday series of posts on the folklore, ancient sites and legends of Britain. If you have similar stories to share from the area in which you live, please read the footnote and send them in.
Moll Bloxham was an old servant formerly from Warwick Castle. She lived in a cottage close to the castle. A concession granted to her by the earl was to sell surplus milk and butter from the castle kitchens.
A rhyme about her business practises was:
“Milk and butter I sell ever.
Weight and measures I give never.”
Dis-satisfaction grew about her high prices and short measures. When word of this reached the earl, he was angry that the townspeople were being swindled and his good nature being abused. So he withdrew the concession from her. Accounts then vary, some say that she disappeared, vowing revenge using magical powers. Shortly afterwards a huge, phantom black dog appeared. It haunted the castle, terrifying whoever saw it. Three clergymen exorcised it by forcing it to jump from the top of Caesar’s Tower, where it fell into the river. Its spirit is said to be trapped under the dam.
Another account that she was punished. Succumbing to the punishment with her dying breath she cursed the castle. Shortly afterwards she appeared in the form of a large, phantom black dog. A servant tricked it into jumping into the river from Caesar’s Tower. Although it stopped appearing in that form though, it supposedly came back in the form of a ghostly grey lady. Who is still said to haunt the castle, along with some other spectres.
Sources: “Haunted Warwickshire” by Meg Elizabeth Atkins.
About the author
Gary Stocker graduated from Coventry Polytechnic in 1991 with a degree in combined engineering. He worked in civil engineering for nearly twenty years. For the last six years he has worked in materials science and currently works as a test engineer. His hobbies and interests include voluntary work, conservation work and blacksmithing. He is also interested in history, mythology and folklore and he says, “most things”.
How did your granny predict the weather? What did your great uncle Albert tell you about the little green men he saw in the woods that night? What strange creature stalks the woods in your area?
So many of these old stories are slipping away for want of being recorded. legendary creatures, odd bits of folklore, folk remedies and charms, and all the old stories that brought our landscape to life…
Tell me a story, share memories of the old ways that are being forgotten, share the folklore of your home. I am not looking for fiction with this feature, but for genuine bits of folklore, old wives tales, folk magic and local legends. Why not share what you know and preserve it for the future?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put ‘Living Lore’ in the subject line. All I need is your article, bio and links, along with any of your own images you would like me to include and I’ll do the rest.