Your Tucked Away Treasures

Anyone whose been on a Treasure Trail can tell you how many new things can be discovered with a little bit of exploration, even in your own backyard!

This week, we sent you, our local agents, out for some recon or research to track down the hidden gems, fabulous facts, surprising stories and other curiosities that only a local would know about. Here are our top picks for your Tucked Away Treasures across the UK! 

Our No. 1 Tucked Away Treasure

Mission 6 Winner - Pyramid Balmoral

Location: Balmoral, Aberdeenshire

Submitted by: Alan Campbell

Not a lot of people know this but…: There be pyramids in Scotland.

Congratulations to Alan – you’ve won a Deluxe Personalised Christmas Package, including two Christmas Adventures from our friends at Enchantica’s, the 2021 Guinness World Records book AND the Ordnance Survey Treasure Hunt book!

The Best of the Rest

1 Mission 6 - Worsley Cock Hotel Pig

Location: Worsley, Greater Manchester

Submitted by: Alison Nelson

Not a lot of people know this but…: The cock hotel in Worsley was an old coaching house where travellers would stop and rest overnight (the land is currently undergoing building work). The owner of the hotel had a pig that the travellers would purchase beer for.  This was years ago when the pub at that time was not surrounded by houses. The pig gave birth to 200 piglets and when it died was buried within the grounds of the pub. When the building works are completed, the grave will be a feature of interest as it is written in the title deeds that the grave is to remain untouched.

2 Mission 6 - Hest Bank Mannequins

Location: Hest Bank, Lancashire

Submitted by: Carole Clarkson

Not a lot of people know this but…: These quirky mannequins are dressed to reflect the current season or special occasion and are constantly changing. They are enjoyed by walkers (and dogs) along the Lancaster canal at Hest Bank. The canal is crossed by an ancient stone bridge to Hest Bank, which is a small village within the parish of Slyne-with-Hest. Its most famous resident was actress Thora Hird.

3 Mission 6 - Steventon Elephant

Location: Steventon, Oxfordshire

Submitted by: Clare Tooley

Not a lot of people know this but…: We have wildlife here!

4 Mission 6 - Teinmouth cannonballs

Location: Teignmouth, Devon

Submitted by: Karen Jones

Not a lot of people know this but…: The seaside town of Teignmouth, near where we live, has the dubious honour of being the last place in England to be raided by foreign troops. An attack by the French in 1690 left the town in ruins. These cannon balls were found embedded in the walls of St Michael’s Church when it was rebuilt by the Victorian’s. The wording is an appeal for money to help rebuild the town and was read out in churches throughout the land. This street is now called French street.

5 Mission 6 - Walton on the Naze Pier

Location: Walton on the Naze, Essex

Submitted by: Kay Chapman

Not a lot of people know this but…: The original Walton pier was one of the earliest in the country, built in 1830, at over half a mile long, Walton Pier is by far the longest in the UK going out into the open sea. Today’s lifeboat is moored near the end of the pier and is the only lifeboat in Britain to have a permanent mooring in the open sea. When needed, the lifeboat crew cycle the length of the pier to get to the lifeboat.

Old Lifeboat Station East Terrace Walton is now the Maritime Museum and provides an insight into the maritime history of Walton-on-the Naze. The records of lives and ships saved are engraved on plates surrounding the Lifeboat House.  In the days of pirate radio in the 1960s, the Walton lifeboat was regularly called out to pirate radio ships in distress. Two of the best known, Radio Caroline and Radio London, were both moored off the North Essex Coast.

6 Mission 6 - Boroughbridge Devil's Arrows
Benjamin Shaw, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Location: Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire

Submitted by: Leanne Adkin

Not a lot of people know this but…: There is a row of three large druid stones in Boroughbridge, known as the Devil’s Arrows. They are tall standing stones with slight markings on, but, because of the age of them, it’s not known exactly where they came from or how they were transported/erected!

7 Mission 6 - Bracknell secret

Location: Bracknell, Berkshire

Submitted by: Liz Rumble

Not a lot of people know this but…: Thought this piece written by my 10-year-old may just fit the bill!!! We can’t walk past the college now without thinking about what used to go on there!

8 Mission 6 - Beeston Bear s

Location: Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Submitted by: Rachel Jerath

Not a lot of people know this but…: We have a lovely old pub called The Victoria Hotel in Beeston.  It’s by the railway station, so was originally there to serve the people arriving on trains. What many folk don’t know is that, in the early 70s, an eccentric landlord used to keep a small zoo at the back of the pub! There was also a python inside and piranhas on the bar, to which he would feed mice for the entertainment of the customers. The collection included a puma, a lion, a leopard and a baboon. A number of incidents occurred involving these animals – the puma bounded into the public bar and frightened regulars and the leopard bit the landlord.

The photo shows Ben the bear with the landlord in the bar. Often he would be seen around Beeston, taking the bear for a walk at the end of a rope.
Ben eventually became around 6ft in size, so was then kept in a cage. The baboon was kept indoors and slept in a dolls cot in the owner’s room when he was a baby, before being caged too. The ‘zoo’ was eventually closed when a terrified elderly couple complained to the police after the baboon escaped, shinned up a drainpipe and tried to break into their bedroom window.

9 Mission 6 - Haworth Oakworth Railway Children
ianpudsey, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Location: Haworth, West Yorkshire

Submitted by: Roger Inglis

Not a lot of people know this but…: What you’ve never wanted to know about The Railway Children. For the sophisticated, Haworth is the home of the Bronte’s, but for those of us less sophisticated it is where the Railway Children was filmed.

Younger sister Phyllis was actually older than Bobbie, she was 20 when it was filmed (and often found off-screen, smoking). She was playing an 11-year-old. Chris Whitty has been on our screens regularly recently, but we know him better as Jim, the injured boy in The Railway Children… no doubt a different Chris Witty!

We saw Bobbie go to the doctors and take him back to Three Chimneys. There was obviously no sat nav in those days as the bridge they cross is eight miles in the wrong direction, on the other side of the Pennine. The owners of the railway insisted the station name was kept in, so Perks (Bernard Cribbins) can be heard shouting “Oakworth Station”, a change from the name in the book. The tunnel used was too small for the effects and had to have a temporary extension.

A mere 43 years after the film was released, the British Board of Film Classification received a complaint that the film encouraged children to trespass on railway lines. The complaint was dismissed as it was done to warn of danger and it would not have been considered trespass in 1905.

10 Mission 6 - St Neots Quads 4 babies

Location: St. Neots, Cambridgeshire

Submitted by: Vicki Cox

Not a lot of people know this but…: The world’s oldest surviving quads were born in St. Neots back in 1935.  They were given money by King George V (£4 for their coffers) and were even put on display in a glass-fronted nursery to earn money off the public.

Our Trail Writers’ Top Picks

TW Round Tower Sandiway Cheshire

Location: Sandiway, Cheshire

Not a lot of people know this but…: This is known as the Round Tower, sat on the central reservation of the A556. It used to be part of the gatehouse for the old Vale Royal Abbey.

TW Farnham Castle Steps in sets of 7 blind bishop fox
Image Credit: Lindy Buckley from Nanjing, China, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Location: Farnham, Surrey

Not a lot of people know this but…: The county of Surrey once stretched all the way to Southwark on the south bank of the River Thames in London. The wealthy and powerful Bishops of Winchester had a palace in Southwark and a castle in Farnham. One such bishop from 1501-28, Bishop Richard Fox, was blind. He also liked to enjoy a little tipple from time to time in the nearby hostelries of the town.

Farnham, as a famous hop growing and trading centre, with its own maltings and breweries, had a great number of public houses – at one time the most per head of population in England. Bishop Fox ordered builders to make him a stepped path up the hill from the town to Farnham Castle, such that there were seven steps in each flight, followed by seven paces between each flight of steps. That way, although blind, and possibly blind drunk too, he could always navigate his way home!

TW Abbots Bromley Horn Dance s
Image Credit YoLeArno – CC3.0

Location: Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire

Not a lot of people know this but…: The antlers carried in the Abbots Bromley Horn dance are reindeer antlers and over 1200 years old, but there were no reindeer in Britain at that date.

TW Cotswolds dry stone walls great wall of china
Image Credit YoLeArno – CC3.0

Location: Cotswolds AONB

Not a lot of people know this but…: The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has a network of dry stone walls at least equivalent to the length of the Great Wall of China.

TW Haversage Little Johns Grave
Image Credit YoLeArno – CC3.0

Location: Hathersage, Derbyshire

Not a lot of people know this but…: the grave of Little John is actually in a Derbyshire village (Hathersage). And yes, that is a parking meter in the graveyard. It’s used for contributions to grave maintenance, so Little John is still robbing the rich…even after his death!

Love Where You Live: MISSIONS Complete!

You’ve worked really hard on your assignments over the last six weeks, local Agents; you’ve done an amazing job of showing us why you Love Where You Live!

If you want to take another peek at your brilliant progress, we’ve compiled our featured favourite in our final report. Your intelligence has been so valuable, slippery spies! Keep your eyes peeled for more adventures to come.

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