Croston Tales

Sarscow Lady

This is the tale of of a lady who lived at Sarscow Farm. The tale says she fell in love with a Roman Catholic priest. My father has told me about this lady as far back as I can remember. She is more commonly known as the 'Sarscow Lady'.

Her name is also spelt as 'Sarascoe Lady' and pronounced as 'Sayscah', she is also known as the 'White Lady' as well as the 'Grey Lady'.

The tale my father told me, is that she was a young lady who fell in love with a Roman Catholic priest, who was living with with a family (the Gradwells) in an old house near the Royal Umpire Museum. The priest became ill and died. In her grief she is said to have committed suicide by throwing herself down a local well near the house. The tale also says that she was pregnant with the priest's child.

Her spirit is supposed to wander the grounds of the farm and the lanes of the area nearby, looking for the priest.

My father told me that one night a bus driver was convinced that he had run a young lady down, there was no sign of anyone on the road. The bus driver refused to carry on. This was said to have happened only a few hours after an old stone cross was removed from the grounds where the Gradwells lived.

Some of the tales say that she was a servant at the Gradwells. There are tales of her walking down Southport Road. She is said to have lived around the end of the 16th Century. My father used to cycle home from Whittle le Woods to Drinkhouse Lane, when he was courting my mother, he has never seen the Sarscow Lady.

Mary Elizabeth Hudson

Another tale my father told me was about a girl that died of a fever and was buried in the far corner of St Michael's and All Angels' graveyard, for fear that the fever would spread. The grave was marked with a stone cross and is recorded that a Mary Elizabeth Hudson died on the 30th May 1890. It is said that there is always wild flowers on her grave. Records from St Michael's and All Angels' show that a Mary Elizabeth Hudson was buried 2nd June 1890. In 1976 a school teacher came to Croston and lived opposite the cemetery, and said that a little girl in a red shawl was a regular visitor to her garden, the red shawl she was wearing was the uniform of the little girl who died in 1890. Another lady said that she was in the kitchen and felt a tug on her skirt, she thought it was her child, but when she looked it was the little girl in the red shawl.

Mary Elizabeth Hudson's gravestone

Inscription on Mary's gravestone. The image also shows that flowers have been placed on her grave.

In Memory of
Mary Elizabeth Hudson
Died at Croston Industrial Home
May 30 1890, Aged 13 Years
at the base of the gravestone
Thou Art Helper of the Friendless
                Psalm X. 16

Record of Mary Elizabeth Hudson's burial:
Burial: 2 Jun 1890 St Michael and All Angels, Croston, Lancashire, England
Mary Elizabeth Hudson
Age: 13 years
Abode: Croston
Buried by Oswald Master Rector of the Parish