Old Hag & Turners Pool
Below the rocky escarpment known as the Roaches can be found a man made pool known as Turners Pool, which seems to be a corruption of its original name of Thornehurst’s Pole.
It is mentioned in a royal grant by King Henry VIII, to W.M Trafford in A.D 1534, and is thought to have been constructed by the monks of nearby Dieulacresse Abbey. It would have been stocked with trout and used as a valuable source of food with trout exceeding 5lb in weight. These days it is still used for fishing purposes but these days it is stocked with carp and fishermen pay to fish here on a daily basis.
On the hillside overlooking Turners Pool can be found a house by the name of Old Hag, although having been totally modernised and bearing little resemblance to what it used to look like, we can be fairly certain that it obtained its name from a Witch that lived in this locality.
It seems that this Witch was said to have the ability to change her appearance in to that of a hare, this she used to do on a regular basis for men with hunting dogs, presumably for some sort of payment. On one occasion she had taken the form of a hare for the men to send their dogs after her, however part of the fence that she used to make her escape from the dogs proved her undoing as on this occasion she got caught up on the fence which allowed the dogs to catch her. She managed to escape from them and by the time the dog handlers reached the spot they found she had taken on her old form that of a Witch, however now she was nursing a head injury where one of the dogs had caught her when she was in the form of a hare!
In my search for the house known as Old Hag I came across an unusual boulder on its own in the middle of a field, the public footpath that I was following took me past this boulder and then entered a small wood where I found the remains of an ancient road.
After having talked to the owner of Old Hag he told me that the ancient road was the remains of an old pack horse trail which had been used to transport goods off nearby Gun Hill, so perhaps the placing of the boulder was a marker stone to direct people along the pack horse trail?