Havannah – The Deserted Village

Before the river Dane wends its way into the town of Congleton it passes through a hidden village in the Dane valley, with no sign posts marking its location one can easily pass by not realising its existence.

In the past the village contained three mills which produced knitted ties and fustian which were the life-blood of the village, however a disastrous flood occurred in 1872 which resulted in the village becoming known as the Deserted village, however the village did come back to life and returned to industrial life until the 1950s.

The weir at Havannah

Cigars were also produced here by H. Andana & Co Ltd and the spelling of the village name had to be changed as the name Havana must have had a copyright attached to it.

An interesting story attached to Havannah is that a ghostly figure of a woman dressed in grey clothing and wearing a pictorial hat is said to have been seen on many occasions walking between the bridge that spans the river Dane and where a five storey mill had used to stand in the village.

The bridge in Havannah which spans the Dane

It is said that the woman was murdered in the late 1800s by her husband who threw her over the weir in a barrel. Nowadays the village has shrunk considerably, there is still some industry here but many of the houses have now gone. There is still a row of cottages which would have housed the mill workers in the past, however these days they have been converted into private dwellings.

In 1999 a young school girl called Claire Hart from Eaton, a small village about a mile from Havannah was brutally murdered by jobless loner Craig Aaron Smith, she had been shot, beaten and strangled and her body had been thrown into the river Dane. Her body was found at the weir at Havannah.

It is thought that Smith may have been making use of a cave that can be found in this area, he was charged with her murder on the 24th of June 1999, the day after her body was discovered.

The cave entrance beneath a tree

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12 Responses to “Havannah – The Deserted Village”

  1. Oh my goodness! I used the village as a short cut to get to Eaton Bank School! I passed over the bridge that offers a beautiful view of the weir then up through some woodland, I never did like to walk alone through there…

  2. I have got a postcard posted in1917 which shows two rows of cottages facing each other. There is a tall tower in the centre background.

    Aren’t old postcards fascinating.

  3. Exciting material, many thanks for sharing these in Havannah – The Deserted Village ludchurch.

  4. I jus been sat here thinkin about that murder, n to this day it stil puts the hairs on my beck stand up! She was found like 15mins walk from my old house! I hope to god when he’s out he gets wat he desvers! Scumbag,

  5. I grew up there in the 90s and it’s a wholly believable idea that it’s haunted. There’s just a sense of loneliness there.

  6. I used to live there haha. Number 5 new street, havannah village. It was shocking when Claire died – we were on holiday at the time. There was also a pretty bad flood in the late 90s that ruined our house and we ended up moving a few months after it was restored. It’s sad to see that they’ve just built loads of new houses there now – I went to see it again recently. Creepy yet beautiful place to grow up.

    • I live at number 5 now, picturesque place and peaceful but can be very creepy when it’s dark especially the hill leading to the main road, the new estate has been built recently which has changed the area quite a bit

  7. My Grandmother (Florrie Egerton, nee Hancock ) used to work in Havannah, walking daily from Mow Cop. I believe it was a 6 am start to the shift. She was a seamstress so it must have been in one of the mills I guess.

  8. My family were bakers,Frank Birchenough & Sons, Macclesfield. I was a child in London during the war and I stayed with them for long periods to be away from the air raids.They made deliveries of bread to Havannah once or twice a week.I used to go with the roundsman and I loved going there.Even as a child of eight or nine I knew it was a unique place.A turning off the road and it felt like another world.The women and children would get quite excited to see the bread van -they were all friendly.As an adult I thought about it and felt I had been dreaming that a place had exsisted.I’ve. even mentioned it to people in Macclesfield who have never heard of it.very interesting to find this site.

  9. thanks for posting about this amazing village

  10. I have a postcard by Bullock Bros., Macclesfield, with a photograph (B/W) of 2 rows of cottages, boarded up, and the caption: ‘Havannah (the Deserted Village)’.

  11. I know the darkness and fear in this place, I grew up there, and am still trying to discover the reason why it resonates such negative energy. it has haunted my dreams since I was a child. The river Dane in this spot of its course holds the key, I think. . Thanks for this blog, I have other stories to tell about a lot of places near Congleton you have mentioned too.
    p.s .it was 98, not 99 when Craig Smith murdered Claire Hart

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