Lancashire Legends, Traditions, Pageants, Sports, &c./Part 1/Hulme Hall Treasure

Part I: Legends and Traditions; Hulme Hall Treasure.


Buried treasure and its unearthly guardians attach themselves to many of our ancient mansions; and they cease to be haunted as soon as the cause is removed. There is a tradition of this kind relating to Hulme Hall, formerly the seat of a branch of the Prestwich family. During the civil wars its then owner, Sir Thomas Prestwich, was very much impoverished by fines and sequestrations; so that in 1660 he sold the mansion and estate to Sir Oswald Mosley. His mother had, on many occasions, induced him to advance large sums of money to Charles I. and his adherents, under the assurance that she had hidden treasures which would amply repay him. This hoard was supposed to have been hidden either in the Hall itself or in the grounds adjoining; and it was said to be protected by spells and incantations known only to the Lady Dowager herself. Time passed on, and the old lady became infirm; and at last she was struck down by apoplexy before she could either practise the requisite incantations or inform her son where the treasure was secreted. After her burial diligent search was made, but without result; and he too went down to the grave in comparative poverty. Since that period fortune-tellers and astrologers have frequently tried their powers in order to discover this hidden wealth; but they have not yet been successful. It is still believed, however, that on some future occasion they will be more fortunate, and that the demons who guard the hoard will be overcome and forced to give up their charge. The Hall and estate passed from the hands of the Mosleys into the possession of other proprietors, and were ultimately sold to the late Duke of Bridgewater. Some years ago the site was required for other purposes, and the Hall was pulled down; but although considerable care was taken, no money was discovered.