The Butley Ash Incident.
Along the A523 road which leads out of the town of Macclesfield in the county of Cheshire can be found a small road which leads into the tiny village of Butley. It was in this area that there had used to be an Ash tree which was famous locally and was known as the Butley Ash. Why this tree was revered quite so much is unknown, it has been speculated that the reason that it had been worshipped was that it housed a specific God, or perhaps it had some sort of healing properties like the tree that can be found at Mottram St Andrews. There is still evidence to be found locally that point to the importance of this tree.
Back in the late 1700s was the time when it was decided to build a Turnpike road from Hazel Grove to Leek, this would go through Adlington, Tytherington and Macclesfield passing the Butley Ash on route. The construction of the Turnpike road got underway without any problems, however the construction gangs made up mainly of Irish Navvies came upon a large burial mound on the outskirts of Butley. Not wanting to deviate the road construction they ploughed their way through the burial mound disturbing hundreds of bodies, it is this event which is thought to have triggered some sort of paranormal event.
The following information was taken from Doug Pickfords book “Macclesfield Mysterious & Macabre” ISBN 1 85983 308X and is as follows: Apparently the Brocklehurst family had been investors in the Bullocks Smithy to Leek turnpike road at some stage after its construction, and there was a number of legal documents referring to that fact. Included with these was an account written by a foreman of one particular construction gang. Names were given and facts and figures related but , it must be remembered, what I am now about to relate was told to me by my Grandfather many years after he had read it when he was a younger teenager. I can do little more than pass on what my memory will allow, and that is this. The foremans letter was asking for money to send the body of an Irish teenager back to his home town for burial. He had died in a mysterious way, the letter writer stated. He wrote that shortly after the anciemt bones were unearthed, a number of navvies refused to work any more, saying they were desecrating a burial site. They were all dismissed on the spot, with no pay, and they became angry – so much so that fights broke out between those who would not work and those who would.
The photograph on the right is thought to be the area where the Butley Ash once grew.
As the fighting was taking place, this Irish lad began to scream. He screamed so loud and incessantly that pretty soon the men ceased their fray and watched him. As he screamed, said the letter writer, he rose in the air above the heads of the men and dropped into one particular pile of bones, which were crushed under his weight. He started to talk in a strange language, which someone thought was Latin, and as he did so a white horse from a nearby field galloped over and stopped by him, pawing at his body. Many of the men ran away and those that remained saw his body convulse and his life expire. As he died a lightning bolt struck the Butley Ash and it is believed that this is what caused the tree to die.
You may dismiss this story as mere folklore, however when I called in at the Butley Ash public house I was told by the Landlord and Landlady that paranormal events are still taking place at regular intervals usually late at night and in the early hours of the morning. In fact one of the cleaners at the pub regularly took photographs of apparitions in the rooms that she cleaned, and the landlord said that he would forward the photographs to me when he obtained them so I could upload them onto this site. Are the disturbances that once took place in this area still active in this day and age? When I was about to take photographs of the front of the pub a car ran off the road and crashed into the front of it, is that just coincidence or is something else at work here?
The Butley Ash Public House,
Cheshire, SK10 4EA
Tel: 01625 824930