The Eagle & Child

This photograph of the front of a house which can be found on the road between Allgreave and Gradbach in the Staffordshire Moorlands is called the Eagle and Child.

Legend has it that many years ago an eagle abducted a small child or baby, whether or not it took place at this house I am not sure, it may have just taken place in this area. However the event has been duly recorded in the plaque above the door of the house. Another possible explanation is that this plaque represents a family’s coat of arms, that of the Stanley family, the Lords of Derby of Crag hall at nearby Wildboarclough. The house was built back in 1738 by a Mr Joseph Hadfield and was previously occupied by the kirkham family and then the Mitchell family who opened it as a tea room to cater for cyclists and walkers, however thanks to European bureaucracy it was forced to close as it didn’t meet their guidelines. The Eagle and Child is an unusual house in an unusual area and well worth a visit!


5 Responses to “The Eagle & Child”

  1. this used to be a pubic house till 1738, pack horse trail from gradbatch is near by, as well as the pictoral sign above the door, behind the barred door in the doorwaywere some fine decorative spode/minton tiles depicting the eagle and child wrapped in swaddling clothes

    nice blog by the way

  2. Very good write-up, I am going to bookmark The Eagle & Child ludchurch.

  3. The extraordinary story of The Eagle and Child, the crest of the Stanleys, is associated with the house of Lathom. Its outline is as follows :-Sir Thomas Lathom, the father of Isabel, afterwards the wife of Sir John Stanley, having this only child, and cherishing an ardent desire for a son to inherit his name and fortune, had an intrigue with a young gentlewoman, the fruit of which connexion was a son. The lord of Lathom contrived to have the infant conveyed by a confidential servant to the foot of a tree in his park frequented by an eagle, and he and his lady, taking their usual walk, found the infant as if by accident. The old lady, considering it a gift from heaven brought hither by the bird of prey and miraculously preserved, consented to adopt the boy as their heir.
    “Their content was such, to see the hap,
    That the ancient lady hugs yt in her lap
    Smoths it with kisses, bathes yt in her tears,
    And unto Lathom House the babe she bears.”
    The name of Oskatel was given to the little foundling, Mary Oskatel being the name of his mother. From this time the crest of the Eagle and Child was assumed; but, as the old knight approached the grave, his conscience smote him, and on his death. bed he bequeathed the principal part of his fortune to Isabel, his daughter, now become the lady of Sir John Stanley, leaving poor Oskatel, on whom the King had conferred the honour of knighthood, only the manors of Irlam and Urmston, near Manchester, and some possessions in the county of Chester in which county he settled and became the founder of the family of Lathom of Astbury.
    The story must be regarded, however, as merely legendary. In the Harleian collection of manuscripts is an account of some painted windows in Astbury Church, near Congleton, representing a knightly figure with a shield placed anglewise under a helmet and mantle, and for crest an eagle standing on an empty cradle, with wings displayed regardant or, with an inscription-” Pray for the soul of Philip, son of Sir Robert Lathom

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