According to tradition, the neighbourhood of Wormhill was once a forest and crowded with trees. It was then the haunt of wild animals. The antiquary and historian William Camden, writing of Derbyshire in the Britannia of 1610, observes:
… there is no more danger now from wolves which in times past were hurtfull and noisome to this Country; and for the chasing away and taking of which some there were that held lands here at Wormhil, who thereupon were surnamed Wolvehunt, as appeareth plainely in the Records of the Kingdome …
It may have been this feudal tenure by wolf-hunt that inspired the tradition reported in 1991 by David Clarke that the last wolf in England was killed here in the sixteenth century. This in turn may be connected with reports of a phantom animal on the B6049 linking Miller’s Dale with the A6 north-east of Buxton. Motorists have allegedly been chased at night by a strange wolf-like beast running and leaping at immense speed after their cars.
Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson –
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008