Buckton Castle, Mossley, Lancashire

Hillfort:  OS Grid Reference – SD 9892 0161

Archaeology & History

Buckton Castle on 1882 map
Buckton Castle on 1882 map

This giant site—deemed as Iron Age by some and medieval by others—is on the verge of complete destruction as the adjacent quarrying company cuts closer and further into the sides and top of the monument. Local people and archaeologists need to do something about this, or it will be lost forever as the Industrialists once again destroy more of our ancient heritage in order that they can feed their god of Money.


Legend has always told that great treasure existed beneath the grounds of this Brigantian hillfort, found on the moor-edges to the east of Manchester. Long ago, one man came along to see if he could find the treasure, said to consist of a huge chest of gold. The man brought two horses and the ground within the fort was gradually cleared away until, to the man’s surprise, the legendary chest was revealed!

Attaching chains to it and the horses, the man shouted:

“Gee, whoa, whoo! Bonny, Buck and Bell,
I’ll have this chest o’ gowd, i’ spite o’ all t’ devils in hell!”

But barely had the words left his mouth and the chest began to move, when the devil himself appeared in the shape of a huge hen that breathed fire! This scared the horses so much that they bolted and snapped the chains, taking their master with them but leaving the treasure-chest still in the ground. To this day the chest still remains, hidden in the Earth.


  1. Winterbottom, Vera, The Devil in Lancashire, Cloister: Stockport 1962.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian