Scotch Common in Sandbach and the folklore attached to the area is an important part of the towns history. This area is linked to a civil war period skirmish between the local townspeople and an army of retreating scots loyal to the Royalists. Now this has probably all been done the wrong way around as I had planned to write a blog post pulling all the available information online about the actual skirmish together first. That will come eventually but I have always been more interested in pinning down the exact location of the burial site of the unfortunate Scots who met their end on that fateful day in September 1651. There is lots of information and blog posts relating to ghosts and a haunted stretch of the M6 near to junction 17, I’m not interested in this for now. Along with ghost stories there is a lot of hearsay, speculation and what I believe to now be Chinese whispers about the exact burial site and the name of the area. I am going to focus on officially recorded field/plot names recorded as far back in history as I can find. ‘Scots Meadow’ this is located where the Old Mill Quarter development will start soon on a vacant plot of land that runs along side the bypass and south of the Old Mill road roundabout. On a victorian map with each and every plot of land named and numbered this has plot 635 named as ‘Scot Meadow’. I have highlighted the approximate location on a modern map of the area (pictured below). Interestingly this area has been identified as one of two possible sites that historians have said the dead were buried at after the skirmish. This historical intelligence has been considered within the planning application which has been granted and a programme of archaeological work will be taking place soon. Hopefully this will reveal more clues or the work could even eliminate this site as the potential burial ground location. ‘Piper’s Fields’ I actually couldn’t find any plots of land around the area specifically called Piper’s Hollow. However, I did find two plots of land next to each other numbered as 256/253 and named ‘Pipers Field’ and ‘Pipers Field and further Pits’. Again these plot location names were officially recorded on the same victorian period map. I have also highlighted the location on a modern map (pictured below). The motorway cuts through the area but even with the 6 lane M6 splitting them, both plots of land still have a large enough area left to accommodate a burial site. However, despite the construction work around M6 J17 coming very close to this rumoured burial ground (site compound is only across the A534 road) this isn’t considered significant enough for an archaeological survey or even trenching to be dug before the work starts. Planning permission has been granted on the Old Mill Quarter site. An e-mail from the Cheshire Archaeology Planning Advisory Service recommended “that a programme of archaeological work will be required.” Cheshire East have confirmed that trenching will not be conducted until the actual work starts on the development, but surely this is too late? Data held in the Cheshire historical environment archives concludes that there are areas of archaeological potential within the site including ‘Scots Meadow’. Could this be enough to prove that Scots Meadow was the final resting place of the scots? Not exactly, but with development imminent there could be some very interesting clues waiting to be discovered that could prove once and for all the exact location. Should the area around Piper’s field also have been considered and an Archaeological report conducted due to the development project around J17? I believe so, within very close proximity I can walk very quickly to 3 of the Sandbach Area’s most significant archaeological finds;
- The Roman Gravel bank discovered on Brindley Moor
- The Roman Coin hoard found close to Brindley moor
- The bronze age axehead found just off Congleton road close to where the work has begun
- The 14th Century Gold Brooch
…and how could we forget the ghosts and paranormal activity around Piper’s Field on the M6! What are your thoughts?