Small Hamlet on the Moor
The ghost of a pretty sixteen-year-old is still sometimes seen waiting for her lover at the ancient river crossing of Callin’s Bridge (at the top end of Callin’s Lane). The unfortunate girl had found herself part of a local witches’ coven before her sweetheart had shown her the error of her ways. He was a royalist soldier away fighting in the Civil War. Just before he arrived home, an angry roundhead, fleeing a small local battle, smashed up the poor girl’s house and, finding her alone on the bridge, attacked and murdered her. Her spirit is thought to lead watchers to the graves of the soldiers her attacker had killed in the skirmish. The Waltham St Lawrence burial registers record another chilling death: the wife of Ralph Medwin who lived in this area, at the south-west corner of ‘Ha[ ] Inneings,’ on the border with Binfield parish:
1656, March 9th: Mabel Medwin, a witch about 68 years old,
Just below Callin’s Bridge are the remains of an old moat, all that remains of the original Beenham’s Farm. The present complex retains a 16th century weatherboarded barn which may have belonged to Ralph Newbery who lived on the site. Followed by several members of his family, he travelled to London and became a famous publisher in the 16th century. His brother’s descendent, John Newbery, is particularly noted for being the first proper publisher of children’s books.
Read more history of
Beenham's Heath in David Nash Ford's book, 'East Berkshire Town and
|© Nash Ford Publishing 2001; Revised 2020. All Rights Reserved.|