John Turners Death

An inscribed stone can be found on the back road to Rainow in the county of Cheshire, on it is written, ” Here John Turner was cast away in a heavy snow storm in the night about the year 1755″. On the reverse side it reads ” A womans single footprint was found by his side in the snow”.

John Turner had used to run a string of packhorses between Derby and Chester and was returning home to Saltersford when he became caught in a snowstorm. As it was Christmas time he wanted to make it home to be with his family, so against advice he decided to press on through the blizzard.

The road where John Turner’s inscribed stone can be found.

When he failed to make it home a search party was organised and set off in search of him, they discoverd him frozen to death less than a mile from his home, his string of pack horses were unharmed. The riddle surrounding his death however is the fact that a woman’s single footprint was found next to his body, who was this mysterious woman? Why was she there on such an inhospitable night even when a strong man could not survive. Why was only one footprint found? Was she connected with John Turner’s death as many local people claim? These and other questions will probably remain a mystery, however many people think that there is a connection with John Turner’s death and the Cat and Fiddle Public House and I assume that they believe that this is the place that he died. Although the Cat and Fiddle is the second highest Inn in England at 1690 feet above sea level, and it had used to be a coaching Inn which would have been a very welcome sight for anyone crossing the moors on a wild night, unfortunately the Inn was built in 1830, 75 years after John Turner died.

The Cat in the name Cat and Fiddle could refer to Cat Tor, a Celtic battle site or burial mound found in this area. John Turner’s inscribed stone is about 2-3 miles away from the Cat and Fiddle at Saltersford near Rainow.


3 Responses to “John Turners Death”

  1. http://alangarner.atspace.org/votd.html

    Above is a link to an interesting story, as told by local author, Alan Garner, relating to John Turner’s death.

  2. I came across this stone earlier today. The reverse of the stone reads, ‘The print of a woman’s shoe was found by his side in the snow where he lay dead.’

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