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Tarvin History Revealed – Headless Woman

31st October 2023 @ 6:06am – by Tarvin Webteam
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A Chilling Tale for Halloween!

Many residents of Tarvin remember a Pub in nearby Duddon Called "The Headless Woman" which was finally demolished in 2014. Some locals also know of the legend of the headless woman, a good spooky Halloween folk tale.

There are conflicting reports of how poor Grace Trigg's head was separated from her shoulders.
The story goes back to the time of the English Civil war when Cromwell's Parliamentarian guards and soldiers searched for those loyal to the crown. The then owners of Hockenhull Hall who were loyal to the King fled for their lives when Cromwell's soldiers were known to be coming to the area, leaving their servant, Grace in charge of the house and its riches. Grace was tortured in the attic of the hall and there the story diverges. One account says that she was beheaded, there, in the attic and her body was then dumped in the River Gowy by the Packhorse bridges. The alternative account which seems more plausible is that at some point during events, she managed to escape from the hall and ran away along Platts Lane towards the bridges at Hockenhull Platts. The soldiers managed to recapture her in the vicinity of the bridges and during the struggle, she was beheaded.

In the TV Series Most Haunted Midsummer Murders; medium and parapsychologist, David Wells feels her presence and follows the route of her tragic death to the end of one of the bridges. His sense and some accounts say that her body was in fact not thrown into the river, but dragged to a ditch near to the Inn that became later known as the Headless Woman and that her spirit latched onto that property.

Local farmers have in the past claimed sightings of Grace's ghost, walking in the rows of maize in the fields around Hockenhull Platts, carrying her head under her arm.  Motorists have reported sightings, some believing they have knocked over a young woman only to look back and see nothing, but by far the most common reported sightings of Grace's ghost are at the Packhorse Bridges on Hockenhull Platts.

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