Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Original newspaper report relating to a skull found on Pilling Moss in 1824.

Liverpool Mercury, Friday, June 11, 1824

Singular Discovery.

As some labourers were digging peat, on that part of Pilling Moss contiguous to the road leading to Garstang, on Wednesday se'nnight at the depth of six feet from the surface, a piece of coarse woollen cloth, of a yellow Colour, was discovered, in which were contained the remains, of a human Skull, with a great abundance of hair, of a most beautiful auburn, and two strings of large black glass beads together with a part of the first vertebrae of the neck. 

The hair was plaited and of great length; in many parts, about three inches from the extremities of the braids, it was cut off by some heavy cutting instrument, as the ends were exactly level, not a hair projecting, which could not have been the case had it been cut by scissors: a large piece of hardened moss, rendered so by previous exposure to the air, and bearing evident marks of having been dug with a spade, was found lying in immediate contact above the cloth, though the moss above was as solid as any other part.

A short distance from the spot stands a house, which, not many years ago, was ,a receptacle where females from various parts were secretly conveyed, for the purpose of concealment, under circumstances which may easily be surmised. And is it possible for this to be a part of one of the unfortunate wretches seduced hither and sacrificed for the purpose of effectual concealment?

In all probability; upwords of twenty years have elapsed since the circumstance has taken place, and there can be little doubt of a murder having been perpetrated, and that the head and the body have been separately disposed of, in order the more effectually to escape detection--I have enclosed a small portion of hair, which may be examined by any who choose.

The above is a hasty statement, though correct, as I proceeded personally to the spot, and examined the whole with accuracy.—Correspondent of the Preston Chronicle.