On the present-day B4086 Wellesbourne Road is Littleham Bridge. One evening in November 1820 William Hirons (or Hixons), a yeoman farmer from nearby Alveston, was on his way home from Warwick. As he approached the bridge in question he was mugged and left for dead by four assailants. He was found, fatally wounded, with his head resting in a hole. The four assailants were arrested, found guilty and executed.
The hole, which he had his head resting in though, started to gain a strange reputation. No matter how often and with what, it was filled in with, it was always found to be a hole again within a few hours. It became known as “Hiron’s Hole” and people avoided the area after dark.
This went on for a long time. Until an elderly lady admitted the truth. William Hirons was a popular employer. So his former employees, to ensure that he was not forgotten, used to empty out the hole, on their way to and from work, as a sort of memorial. As they all retired and died off this eventually stopped. There is certainly no recognisable hole there now.
Sources: “Tales of Old Stratford” by Betty Smith. Pages 64 – 66. “Haunted Warwickshire” by Meg Elizabeth Atkins. Pages 110 – 111. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/warks/vol3/pp283-288
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.