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The Suburban Boggart: The survival and revival of a Manchester monster

  • 13/07/2021
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

Online talk by Dr Ceri Houlbrook (University of Hertfordshire)

Tuesday 13 July 2021, 18:00–19:30

The Boggart was living quite happily in its 19th-century rural dell. But what happened when its rural dell became a Manchester suburb?

Not far from the little snug smoky village of Blakeley, or Blackley, there lies one of the most romantic of dells, rejoicing in a state of singular seclusion, and in the oddest of Lancashire names, to wit the “Boggart-Hole.” … You descend, clinging to the trees and scrambling as best you may, – and now you stand on haunted ground! Tread softly, for this is the Boggart’s clough; and see in yonder dark corner, and beneath the projecting mossy stone, where the dusky sullen cave yawns before us, like a bit of Salvator’s best, there lurks that strange elf, the sly and mischievous Boggart. (John Roby, Traditions of Lancashire, 1829)

This description of Boggart Hole Clough, Manchester, dates to the early 19th century. Nearly 200 years later and the area has changed dramatically. No longer a ‘little snug smoky village’, Blackley is now a Manchester suburb, and this ‘most romantic of dells’ has become an urban park. The Boggart, however, is still very much in residence. Using a wide range of material – from the pens of antiquarians to local ballads and oral histories – this talk will trace the history and folklore of Boggart Hole Clough, where today, still, ‘there lurks that strange elf…’

Booking via Eventbrite: ticket sales will open 1 June

Tickets £5.00 (Folklore Society members £3.00 with Promo code)