Creepy Small Villages

BlackPeter

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You mean the one in Middleton (no more than 3 miles from where I am sitting)? That could possibly tally with Black Peter's description, if he had been spending the day at Middleton Hall. Nice enough village, really, but slightly confusing roads.
Think you are right has to be Middleton-must have a look next time I am out that way!
 

catseye

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My tiny little hamlet is always bustling with activity, horse riders, dog walkers, people out in their gardens. Go three miles down the road to the next (much bigger) village, and there is never anybody about on the streets or to be seen. Big wide grass verges and just...nobody.

I put it down to our village tending to have the gardens at the front and the other village having the gardens at the back. Something probably to do with the ancient lay out. So some villages are more prone to people being 'visible' than others?

And up here in rural North Yorkshire there is very definitely the sense that those from the more isolated villages higher up on the moors, ahem...'don't get out much', shall we say.
 

Bad Bungle

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Yes, I know a lot of pubs around the area. Maybe I should say knew as most are probably gone now. I still go in The Black Horse on Chorleywood common occasionally and also The Red Lion in Sarratt.
I lived in the area for 53 years and moved away in 2016. The first time I went to the Black Horse was last year (gloriously sunny evening) with my brother. I'd heard of the Pubs but only went to a handful, unlike my brother who was a member of 3 local darts leagues and my elder sister who was a lush.
 

Sid

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The other story? That was told to me by somebody who is now deceased, but who was both a tremendously nice person and a member of the House of Lords, so I tend to assume that she had no reason to make it up. Then again, she was also a direct descendant of somebody who 900 years ago allegedly created an underground vault in the village of Duns with the help of the Devil. How Fortean is that?

Anyway, the story is this. On the A68 between Soutra Hill ( famous in Britain as one of the two places that automatically becomes impassable the second it snows, just after the Cockbridge to Tomintoul road) and Lauder, there is a lay-by. Last time I passed by, it was a popular truck stop with a van selling burgers and coffee. Round about 1960, a police car was driving along that road, and they saw a trailer in that lay-by. Naturally they had a look. When the cop lifted the canvas. he was more than surprised to find himself face-to-face with a fully grown Bengal tiger! It turned out that a passing circus had stopped for a break, and somehow forgotten their tiger! As I said, my informant was an extremely reliable person, so I have to assume that she was telling the truth. But how, exactly, do you forget a tiger?

One other point. If you examine that stretch of road - the A68 between Soutra Hill and Lauder - on satellite view, you will see that there are precisely two houses anywhere near it. One is a farm some way off the road, which need not concern us. The other is The Darned House. It's right by the road, and although it's structurally sound, it obviously hasn't been lived in for a very long time - local sheep-farmers use it as a supply dump, but nobody dares to live there because it's The Darned House. Yet I never heard any explanation as to what was wrong with it. The locals are all scared of it, but they don't have the slightest idea why! That's another location that you can find very easily, because it's literally about 10 feet from the main road. And I can give you no clue what is supposed to happen if you spend the night there. I just know that nobody who lives there would, and they don't have the slightest idea why. Make of that what you will.
Probably - they thought the Tiger had got out when the markings on the Tiger matched up with the bars on the cage - Tigers are really sneaky!
 

Stormkhan

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It wasn't the first place they had rented in and around Nottingham. 3 of them had been in a much smaller place in Sherwood when they first moved to the area, but when they found this house in Mapperley they thought they'd hit the jackpot.
Having married a Nottingham lass and lived in the area for many years, I can safely say that the Mapperley area is the Nouveau Riche area for overpriced mansion. The classy ones like to live in The Park. If there was a bedroom CCTV fitted once, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

They have this legend where I live, in Wilts, there’s a pub called the Moonrakers, and it was apparently because smuggled barrels of brandy were hid in the village pond (any vlllage) and when the excise men came across a bunch of ‘local yokels’ with long rakes dragging the pond one moonlit night, they stopped and asked what they were doing, so these yokels said they were trying to rake the moon from the pond. Upon which, the excise men laughed their socks off at the stupidity, and rode away.
A nice - and well-known story but it's more likely that it relates to a moonraker ship's sail; the link between sailing ships and smuggling, Du Maurier etc.
 

Bad Bungle

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Yes, that’s the one on the bend.
Just on the bend beyond the Pub is St Mary Magdalene Church, reputedly the first parish church designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Of interest to me is that it was built to replace the St Mary Magdalene Church that sat in a copse next to the River Chess (Chenies/Latimer) a couple of miles away and part of my early stomping ground. The first church was built around 1230 but was prone to flooding by the river. I read a gentleman was fined 5 shillings in Puritan times for wearing his wide-brimmed hat in church - he pointed out that the roof was leaking onto his prayer book. By the 1800's villagers would post a lookout on the Latimer road on a Sunday to see if the Vicar would turn up for the sermon - if he didn't, the villagers went back home. The font was removed to the new church in Flaunden in 1838 and the building abandoned. By 1960 only one wall was standing and that fell down soon after - my first memories of the site (I was only four) were of carved masonery hidden in the undergrowth and fallen trees, like a lost jungle city - very atmospheric.
 

CALGACUS03

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Not really creepy, but rather odd, is a hamlet in the English borders called Carham. I've driven (or been driven) through it hundreds of times as did my father and mother. All of the houses are pristine with perfectly maintained gardens, and hedges that appear to have been cut with laser-like precision - but none of us have ever seen a single inhabitant of it!

No-one sitting in their gardens, or walking their dogs, or doing any weeding, or gossiping with their neighbors, or actually in the process of cutting said hedges - just, seemingly, empty.

Maybe it's actually a Potemkin village constructed for some nefarious reason that has yet to be realized? :worry:

Going back to a (very) early post by a member now retired:

I have an old (now ornamental) milepost/stone in my back garden with 'Duns' and 'Exomh' written on it. Any idea where Exomh is? The 'h' at the end end is in lower case so it may be a longer place name that ends with an 'h'.
My guess would be that the 'M' and lower-case 'h' would indicate an abbreviation of 'mouth' and if finley909 was still around would ask if he might have actually misread it and it actually says 'EYEMh.'*, like this one, indicating Eyemouth:

49869513897_7c55e6ee9b.jpg

If not, I can't think of anywhere else in the vicinity of Duns that would have a 'mouth' placename generic (except Tweedmouth or Burnmouth which are both plainly incorrect).

* is it possible to do superscript on the message board? :dunno:
 

GNC

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You've just reminded me of a village we used to drive through to see our relatives: Crawfordjohn. In all the years we went past it, there was never anybody about. Not a soul. I've just looked it up online and its tourist page doesn't have any photographs of people either:
Link

According to Google, it has a population of 117. And the band played believe it if you like.
 

Sollywos

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All of the houses are pristine with perfectly maintained gardens, and hedges that appear to have been cut with laser-like precision - but none of us have ever seen a single inhabitant of it!
Oh I see what you mean! Far too neat and tidy. There must be a reason .. oh I don't know some sort of covenant put on the properties re keeping hedges etc pristine. The first row of white houses didn't feel too odd, you might see similar in other villages where maybe the coucil had built the proerties and they all got given privet hedges ....... it's just when it continued and even down the side driveways it just got a bit boring and actually yes I would say a bit creepy it only because it's unusual.

Sollywos x
 

Stormkhan

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Reminds me of yonks ago, visiting the Isle of Wight with my (then) girlfriend who was native to the island.
She pointed out the village of Niton as a village that even insular Islanders consider too insular. We decided to visit one day - to see if it'd changed.
Got off bus, looked around. Absolutely no one about. Visited the local convenience store for some ciggies. Yep - got the beady-eye from the ... ah ... less than chatty shopkeeper. Saw that we had an hour until the next bus. Saw that the [name redacted] pub had it's doors open - it was about half twelve in the afternoon - so popped in.
Almost cliche landlord propping up the bar, two local 'lads' sat in front of him, all three with nice fresh pints at the ready. Conversation stopped.
"We're closed!"
"At this time?" I spluttered?
"Yep. We're closed. Can't serve you!"
Girlfriend chimed in, wanting to use the loo.
Landlord nodded the way towards the bogs in a somewhat churlish consent. I hung around in an awkward and tense silence. And yes, you could only hear an old clock ticking. And the sound of a flush. We exited forthwith. I swear we heard a chuckle as we left!
Still, we had a stroll around the church yard, um-ed and ah-ed at the rustic scenery (luckily it was a lovely summer day), picked up a couple of tinnies from the surly shopkeeper, and breathed a sigh of relief when the bus arrived.
Bear in mind that we weren't some 'foreign' youths or youngsters but forty-somethings!
 
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catseye

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Not really creepy, but rather odd, is a hamlet in the English borders called Carham. I've driven (or been driven) through it hundreds of times as did my father and mother. All of the houses are pristine with perfectly maintained gardens, and hedges that appear to have been cut with laser-like precision - but none of us have ever seen a single inhabitant of it!

No-one sitting in their gardens, or walking their dogs, or doing any weeding, or gossiping with their neighbors, or actually in the process of cutting said hedges - just, seemingly, empty.

Maybe it's actually a Potemkin village constructed for some nefarious reason that has yet to be realized? :worry:

Going back to a (very) early post by a member now retired:



My guess would be that the 'M' and lower-case 'h' would indicate an abbreviation of 'mouth' and if finley909 was still around would ask if he might have actually misread it and it actually says 'EYEMh.'*, like this one, indicating Eyemouth:

View attachment 27651

If not, I can't think of anywhere else in the vicinity of Duns that would have a 'mouth' placename generic (except Tweedmouth or Burnmouth which are both plainly incorrect).

* is it possible to do superscript on the message board? :dunno:
Exmouth? With the Duns being Dunsford? Although that's quite a fair way from Exmouth, which doesn't have a second E in it so I don't know why I mentioned it, really....
 

Peripart

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BlackPeter said:
One odd little village I would like to find again- about seven years ago I was out with my partner in the grounds of a historic house selling books at a fair (her trade in those days), I was really only along to help carry books! anyway at lunch time I said I would go and see if there was a shop in one of the local villages where I could buy some food, so I set off in the car down the local lanes and almost opposite the entrance to the hall was a lane which I followed that lead to a small village, right from the start I felt there was something odd about the place, it was a very hot sunny day and I stopped to have a look round. There was no shop but a very rustic looking ( almost fairy tale looking) pub called 'The Green Dragon' I tried the door but it was shut so I wandered around the village which was totally silent with lots of thatched, half-timbered buildings it was all very pleasant on the surface but after a few minutes I started to find the silence and lack of people increasingly eerie and disturbing so I left the village rather hurriedly -I remember I discovered it was a dead end so I had to turn round and drive back the same way I had come in. I found a shop in another village got something to eat and returned to my partner, who I told about it and said how odd and disturbing it had seemed to me and she said lets go for a drink at the pub after we finish tonight so we did except I was completely unable to find the village which was not on the lane I thought it was - which was also not a dead end! Been back to the area several times never been able to find it!
Think you are right has to be Middleton-must have a look next time I am out that way!
I was passing by the area the other day, so I stopped to take a few photos. Middleton, as ever, was very quiet (especially with the pub and shop shut), but it was pleasant enough, with a few pedestrians enjoying the sunshine. I'm posting the following photos specifically to address certain points of your post, which I'm hoping will confirm where it was you visited.

A pub called "The Green Man" (not "Dragon", but close!), clearly showing that the road beyond is a dead end, as you described:
IMG_20200621_Green_Man.jpg


A general view looking the other way - the village shop is to my right, the churchyard is just out of view on left, traditional cottages (though not thatched) lining the main street:
IMG_20200621_Middleton.jpg


Finally, the end of this road (Church Lane) as it meets the main A4091. You will see opposite the entrance to Middleton Hall, which often holds fayres of the kind you described in your original post:
IMG_20200621_A4091.jpg


I hope this little bit of local knowledge helps settle things one way or the other!
 

Naughty_Felid

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Going back to a (very) early post by a member now retired:

My guess would be that the 'M' and lower-case 'h' would indicate an abbreviation of 'mouth' and if finley909 was still around would ask if he might have actually misread it and it actually says 'EYEMh.'*, like this one, indicating Eyemouth:

View attachment 27651

If not, I can't think of anywhere else in the vicinity of Duns that would have a 'mouth' placename generic (except Tweedmouth or Burnmouth which are both plainly incorrect).

* is it possible to do superscript on the message board? :dunno:
It was probably originally placed near the Coldington junction on the A1107 between Eyemouth and what now leads to the A1. If you look there is a place called Dunglass, (Duns), which used to have a very unlucky castle of the same name, (it was destroyed twice). The modern distances are roughly equal to what is depicted on the stone.

Google: "distance between eyemouth and dunglass".

It makes sense that a castle should have access to a harbour which Eyemouth has.
 
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BlackPeter

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I was passing by the area the other day, so I stopped to take a few photos. Middleton, as ever, was very quiet (especially with the pub and shop shut), but it was pleasant enough, with a few pedestrians enjoying the sunshine. I'm posting the following photos specifically to address certain points of your post, which I'm hoping will confirm where it was you visited.

A pub called "The Green Man" (not "Dragon", but close!), clearly showing that the road beyond is a dead end, as you described:
View attachment 27734

A general view looking the other way - the village shop is to my right, the churchyard is just out of view on left, traditional cottages (though not thatched) lining the main street:
View attachment 27735

Finally, the end of this road (Church Lane) as it meets the main A4091. You will see opposite the entrance to Middleton Hall, which often holds fayres of the kind you described in your original post:
View attachment 27736

I hope this little bit of local knowledge helps settle things one way or the other!
Yes that looks entirely right! -haven't been out that way for ages!
 
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