Patten Peg

Antony chruchyard

An elderly lady known as Patten Peg lived in a tiny cottage in Antony. She wore wooden overshoes called pattens to keep her feet out of the mud- Antony was a very muddy place in those days. When the weather was wet and the mud was muddy her feet went squelch, squelch as she walked up the road. When the weather was dry they went tap tap pitter pat. They they went pat up the steps to church on Sundays..1,2,..7 pats, 1, 2,…12 pats, 1,2,..12 pats, 1, 2, ..11 pats – there are a lot of steps up to Antony church and you could always hear her coming.

She was very poor and often in need of a little charity from the local community. Sadly for Peg there were not many in the village who felt very charitable towards her, for she had a very violent temper and vented it on anyone who displeased her. One day  Peg’s neighbour refused her some milk and she was washed with a vicious anger and cursed him there and then. The man laughed at her curse, and advised her quite firmly she should try being nicer in future as curses didn't generally encourage folks to give gifts. Patten Peg was still angry with her neighbour, so angry that not long after he died she went to his grave in the churchyard and took his leg to make a stew. She ground up the thigh bones to mix with spiders for casting her spells. When Patten Peg died, her ghost roamed the churchyard looking for her neighbour's grave.

She can still be heard now as her footsteps  patter on the church steps, as she waits for her neighbour's spirit to tell him how sorry she is and show him kinder ways.

retold by Anna Chorlton

  • Rame Peninsula