Watering Hole

On the way home from Tixall (of which more later), I stopped off at Longdon village and called into the Swan With Two Necks for a drink. I only had time for a very quick look around the village but even in this short space of time managed to find lots of interest, much of it water-related, which seems only natural in a place also known as Brook End. I hope to return to Longdon and the surrounding area (and of course the pub!) in the not too distant future. Amongst other things, I want to see if there are any nuggets of truth in an old ghost story I found about Lysways Hall….

The pub name Swan with Two Necks is apparently a distortion of ‘Swan with Two Nicks’, referring to the marks made on the birds’ beaks to denote ownership. More info here

Talking of ownership, the SWTN has been under the management of Mary McMeechan since 1st March 2013, the latest in a long line of landlords stretching back to 1755!

Brook End Mill dates back to the 1700s and appears on the Yates Map of Staffordshire.

The mill race still runs and you can follow it for a way up a public footpath.

This area is full of wells, some with brilliant names & legends attached. I think if I’d have carried on up past here, I’d have come to my all time favourite – Giddywell! Never mind, I did find this one near to the mill and there’s always next time…

I’m not sure if this pump is original. There are some other Staffordshire water pumps on this website, perhaps I should send them the photo and get their expert opinion?

These cottages are thought to be a 16th timber framed building that was divided up into separate houses at some point in the last half a millenium or so!

Over to the experts again, and this time John Higgins of the Mile Stone Society who researched Staffordshire Mileposts and found that in 1893, 335 posts were ordered from Tipton firm Charles Lathe & Co at a cost of 19s.6d each, including this one in St James’ Close

13 thoughts on “Watering Hole

  1. The Lichfield Mercury of 5 June 1885 reports “Singular death at Longdon”.

    “On Saturday afternoon a respectable young man was found dead in a shed at Longdon near Rugeley by Mr Houlston, a Miller at Brook End.”

    Mr Houlston had been at his shed at Brereton Hill on Thursday and thought he noticed something, but could not tell what it was. He had put a mare in the shed who became restless, and so he asked two boys to go up into the loft to look if there was anything there, but they were reluctant. On Saturday he put some heffers in the shed, but they came out again, and so he went up himself and noticed a hat and some other clothes.

    Mr Houlson then called a policeman who found the body, and with assistance, conveyed it to the Swan with two Necks Inn. The man was about 26 and had a pocket book with the address Herbert Road, Small Heath written in it, but police enquiries in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Lichfield and other places failed to obtain particulars about the man.

    At the inquest there was no evidence of foul play, and it was thought that the man had lay there ill, and being unable to get up, died there. The death was considered caused by pleurisy and congestion of the right lung.


    • That’s so sad. That poor young man all on his own. I wonder if they ever found who he was or how he ended up in Longdon? Thanks for sharing that Peter.


      • Unable to find any further info, but later in the October of 1885 the licence for the Swan with Two Necks Inn was transferred from Walter Titley, who left the neighbourhood, to his wife Rebecca.

        Wonder why he left?


  2. Pingback: Blue Sunday | Lichfield Lore

    • It is pretty gruesome, isn’t it! I haven’t got around to looking properly yet, but I’d be really interested to know how much is based on fact and how much is pure imagination on the writer’s part (I’m thinking probably quite a lot…) Did the villanous Sir Adam Liswis ever exist for example? Do the old records with ye rattes and ye dogges eating ye bones actually exist? Are the remains still buried somewhere near Lysways Hall and was it a castle back then? I do love a good ghost story because I think like the Dun Cow, legends and myths like this are part of our culture.


  3. It is said by some that Sir Adam Liswis erected the first building in 1172, but in White’s Directory of 1834 there is no mention of the turbulent times, The first mention is 1356…

    Among the other ancient seats in the parish of Longdon…Liswis Hall, a large handsome mansion near Longdon Green is the property of Austin Esq, but now occupied by Col Wm Berrisford. It formerly belonged to the ancient family of Liswis, one of whom, Wm de Liswis or Lysweys, granted, in 1356, to his son Richard and Margaret his wife…it afterwards passed by marriage to the Legydds and Arblasters, the latter who sold it in 1769 to Francis Cobb Esq of Lichfield.


    • This is great. It’s proving really hard to find much about the early Lysways Hall (or Liswis) but there was surely a building there before the latest incarnation so cheers!


  4. …and so at Longdon as well within the Church as Churchyard, though upon higher ground, the springs lie so near, that many times the coffins are covered with water when they put them into the graves…

    Dr Plot’s Natural History of Saffordshire (1686)


  5. …both man and wife being met with now and then extraordinary ages…just like one William May and his wife Joyce of Longdon in this county, who died so near together that they were both buried in a day, being brought to Church on the same bier, and lay’d in the same grave, being 108 and 98 years old…

    Robert Plot, Natural History of Staffordshire, 1686


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