Mystery House/Cross Country Runs - Shevvy High

Started by: hamlet (4)

Does anyone remember a lone, derelict house in I think it must have been Elnup Woods ?

We used to pass it during painful cross-country runs at Shevington High in the late 70's. Legend had it that a witch lived there, and we would always sprint past.


Started: 19th Aug 2007 at 11:23

Posted by: tigerlily2110 (306)

You must mean the gamekeepers cottage in the woods.

Replied: 19th Aug 2007 at 11:34

Posted by: hamlet (4)

Thanks Tigerlilly, It was a beautiful house, is it still there I wonder.

PS Do they still send kids on cross country runs ?

Replied: 19th Aug 2007 at 12:15

Posted by: neverstill (940)

yea they do but not 'cross country' like u did or i did in the 80's.....its either few laps round the field or round the roads.....and not in short skirts with big nickers like i used to have to wear.
My neice at shevington high now and they HAVE to have a nike track suit....its part of the school uniform now!

Replied: 19th Aug 2007 at 13:13

Posted by: alan cheetham (93) 

Hi Hamlet,

I too remember those cross country runs through Mill Damm Wood and past the old cottage. The cottage is still there but has been renovated. It now has electricity and running water. In the 70s an old lady lived there alone. We always thought she was a witch. As a kid I always thought the idea of living there would be really spooky.

Do you know me if you went to Shevington School in the 70s? I left in 1974.

Best wishes.


Replied: 21st Aug 2007 at 11:53

Posted by: geoffcott (181) 

The house in mill dam woods, Belonged to mrs Houghton, Her dad worked for lord standish Who's house was demolished in the mid 70's, I had a good conversation with mrs Houghton way back in the 70's. She told me about how her dad had taken a good beating from the men who worked for standish, because they went on strike and he did'nt, we used to call her the witch, But if you had ever spoken to her you would have found her very interesting, (and very hard)to live in the middle of the woods on her own with no electric or runnig water....Just down the dip going towards shevy school is where mill dam cottage was, if you look at the old photo section you will see it. Mrs houghton worked at the old tupperware at one time ,, She passed away in the 80's i think And was well into her 90's..

Replied: 21st Aug 2007 at 12:18

Posted by: hamlet (4)

Many thanks for the replies. I may take the dogs up there this afternoon, see if the 'route' is still open to the public and have a walk 'round it(that's if I can remember where the route was - its a VERY long time ago!)

Sorry Alan, I only started Shevington High a couple of years after you had left.

Thanks again

Chris xx

Replied: 26th Aug 2007 at 10:52

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

How I remember it:

It's an alternative therapy/treatment place now

Replied: 26th Aug 2007 at 11:06

Posted by: harold (inactive)

I didnt notice any signs saying its a alternative therapy/treatment place now when I walked past a couple of weeks ago Art.

And from looks of the old photo that looks like it could be the house what isnt there anymore just down the slope on the left from the waterfallbecause you can see the banking behind it.

The other house further up which is still lived in is open to the fields at the back

Replied: 26th Aug 2007 at 12:55

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

Mrs Prescot used to live there when I was younger (1950's). We were so near the surface with Standish hall Drift, that a group of shots fired underground, broke her Chamber Pot under her bed. She came down to the office complaining like hell to Jem Pollitt the undermanager
This is her who's practising there now:
Mallalieu Christine

Mallalieu Christine
Mill Dam Cottage/Park Brook La

Telephone: 07734 962615

Replied: 26th Aug 2007 at 20:45

Posted by: harold (inactive)

All that might be right Art but the cottage in question is the one thats still standing and it dosnt look like that.

Replied: 27th Aug 2007 at 00:18

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

The one that's standing now, may be a completely new one built on the same site, or very near.
The one I'm talking about, is the ORIGINAL Mill Dam Cottage, occupied by Mrs Prescot, more than 50 years ago, a feisty lady

Replied: 27th Aug 2007 at 01:56
Last edited by ©art©: 27th Aug 2007 at 01:56:25

Posted by: ShevvyChic (1)

I realise this thread about the cottage in Mill Dam/Elnup Wood in Shevington dates back to 2007 but I’m new to Wigan World and it was my interest in this cottage that led to my registration today. I grew up in Shevington and played in this wood often throughout the early 70s. It was a very different time, when parents were very comfortable with their children disappearing unsupervised until returning home at tea time, tired and dirty. There was a short period when we would visit this cottage in the wood. It was split into two dwellings at that time (I think!!) although looking back at the old photograph someone has provided in this thread, it was built as one, and has in fact been renovated and restored to a single dwelling in more recent times. The lady referred to as Mrs Houghton in an earlier thread, is I think, the lady we visited. We always understood her to be Miss Houghton though. I don’t think there was ever a Mr Houghton. She had white hair, loosely clipped back into a bun. She lived there as it’s been said, with no electricity and her toilet was a “privvy” in a little shed outside. It’s such a shame that people referred to her as a witch. I guess it was just a local myth that was fuelled by children telling stories. She certainly had a very different existence to the rest of us in the locality and unfortunately was considered “strange” in that respect. My memory of her was very far from witch-like. We were curious, chatty children and somehow got talking to her one day. She invited us inside and made us tea with sterilised milk in china cups. Parents today would be horrified to think their children had been invited into a stranger’s home but anyone reading this will just have to accept that it was very different back then. She was very sweet and I think she enjoyed our company. Unfortunately we didn’t keep up our visits for very long. We will have found some aspect of our visits to the wood more exciting and adventurous than visiting an old lady for cups of tea. I hope she didn’t wait for us to visit again....

Replied: 1st May 2021 at 13:28


Note: You must login to use this feature.

If you haven't registered, why not join now?. Registration is free.