North of Caldecott, the Uppingham road (A6003) leads past the site of the deserted medieval village of Snelston. The sole remaining trace of the village, now a listed ancient monument, is the line of the village street, appearing as a hollowway among the roots of trees. But there was once a church on the hill here, and local legend says its bells still lie buried where the church used to be.

The Uppingham road continues after Snelston to the ominously named Galley Hill. Once a gallows was a grim landmark against the skyline here. Galley Hill was said to be haunted by the sound of trotting hooves always preceding traffic whether going up or down, making the horses sweat and shy, though nothing could be seen. This is ‘an almost forgotten legend’, say the Stokeses in Just Rutland (1953) and give no local explanation of the haunt. Maybe it was thought to be a last echo of the cart bearing some unfortunate on his final journey, or of some coaching accident on the hill, or simply of some lone phantom rider unable to rest.



Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008