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Friday, 12 June 2009

The Phantom Army of Ridgeway Hill

There has been great media interest of the recent archaeology discovery of forty five bodies found in a pit during the construction of the Weymouth Relief Road (see previous blog entry Archaeologists find evidence of mass execution in burial pit near relief road). As it may be a surprise to some people, there has been a long local tradition of that area of the Ridgeway Hill being haunted.

A footpath formerly the old Roman road that runs parallel to the A354 at Ridgeway Hill, Upwey, Weymouth. Is said that in times of national crisis a phantom army of Roman soldiers is said to appear.

In the late Summer of 1918 (during the Great War), quite near the current excavation site, a Mrs F. Carré, was walking her dog along Ridgeway Hill. When she suddenly heard the distinct sound of soldiers marching and loud chanting that she recognised as being Latin. As she waited on a nearby barrow for them to appear the sound abruptly ceased. Confused, she panned the horizon, but the soldiers never appeared.

As it is not determined whether these are the bodies of Roman or Iron Age. One wonders if these could be the bodies of the phantom army?

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