Situated in Blackley, North Manchester, Boggart Hole Clough is one of many parks in the city. Acknowledged as a local beauty spot, it was purchased in 1890 by the City Council to prevent housing being built on the land. The park boasts 190 acres of green land; it has various picturesque hills, as well as ravines or 'cloughs' in local dialect. The park was refurbished as a result of The Commonwealth Games being staged in Manchester in 2002.
Why the Unusual Name?
Many parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire are said be haunted by boggarts, mischievous spirits, invariably male, who enter your home and cause general mischief, pulling your ears, removing your bedsheets and even putting their clammy hands on your face while you sleep. A farmer and his family were forced to move from a farmhouse in Blackley because it was infested with boggarts. On packing their cart, a neighbour walked past and asked them if they were leaving. When the farmer replied 'Aye, neighbour, we're flitting' the words were echoed by the boggart. The farmer was so dismayed by the fact the boggart appeared to be going with them that he had no choice but to unpack his cart and return home.
We can only assume that the farmer did not have a horse, or at least, access to one, for it is said that a horseshoe hung on the door will keep boggarts away.
What to do in Boggart Hole Clough
Boggart Hole Clough has a country park setting and many walks can be undertaken, guided or otherwise. Thanks to recent funding the park now has many leisure facilities, a bowling green, tennis and basketball courts, a boating lake and a children's play area. It has its own permanent orienteering course and an athletics track. Visitors can enjoy family fun days in the summer and an annual firework display.