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Historic Features in Hale
  1. A tall tale: The Childe of Hale remembered - BBC News
  2. History of Hale: the manor, the tall Childe, and the village
  3. visithalevillage

In school we used to watch this BBC programme about the ancient Greeks; in the title sequence there was a shot of some guys rowing a galley. One of them was wearing a wristwatch. The video is a container for this accrued, recorded… stuff. And even less, living at a historical moment far removed from our own. In a Thatcher-era idea of heritage, this is a pecuniary value — what I want to invoke is something like a shared narrative hook, that is adaptable and free to be appropriated by multiple voices.

Maybe something like a traditional folk song. Lots of people said they liked it. I was quite nervous about showing it in the Village — the shoot was a very happy, collective thing, but afterwards the footage became completely mine, and I have taken liberties with it — there are things in it that no one on the shoot, including myself, would have imagined would be in the film the Egyptian god Anubis, for example….

What do you want the impact of your film to be?

A tall tale: The Childe of Hale remembered - BBC News

It also might go to the Brindley in Runcorn. Afterwards, it will be available online. In the course of the project, the dissemination of the film through screenings, rather than exhibition, has made more and more sense. The shoot was a one-off event, in which a group of people coalesced around an activity, and the screenings have mirrored that.

And I like being there, with the work.

People can take me to task if the want. In fact, historians suspect that actually John had acromegaly caused by a hormone imbalance a description of him indicated that he had a deep voice and greasy skin as well as large hands, feet, nose and lips, plus wide-spaced teeth, which would support this theory.

He had reached his full height by the age of Another legend about him said that he was so tall, he could only lie down to sleep if he put his feet out through the two windows on the gable end of the cottage. This is also an unlikely story, as his true height was almost certainly less than the claim made on his gravestone, but it is an amusing explanation for why the cottage is unusual in having two small windows that look out on the road.

The Official Website For The Township Of Hale

John's impressive stature brought him to the attention of Gilbert Ireland, the Lord of the Manor of Hale. Gilbert engaged John as a bodyguard and entertainer and introduced the Childe of Hale to the upper echelons of society. Gilbert became Sheriff of Lancashire and in he was knighted.

History of Hale: the manor, the tall Childe, and the village

The people of Hale were pleased that one of their number had been invited to Court and they wanted John to make a good impression so they made him fine clothes in purple , red and gold 2. In London, John wrestled with the King's Champion. He dislocated the Champion's thumb and was given 20 sovereigns for his efforts.

After that, John and Gilbert visited Oxford and went to Brasenose College, which was where Gilbert had matriculated in As a sizeable number of students from Lancashire were studying there, they were pleased to meet John Middleton.

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His hand was traced, and his portrait was painted. On the journey back to Hale, John was somehow relieved of the 20 sovereigns 3 , so he returned home with nothing and spent the rest of his life working on farms. He was buried in the grounds of St Mary's Church.


The Childe of Hale lives on in popular memory and monuments, as well as more ephemeral acts of remembrance; a giant who continues to grow in stature through memory. On reflection, it is kind of a pity that the Childe of Hale was not adopted as the figure used to re-name nearby Speke airport.

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They love the idea of a real life giant whose feet poked through the cottage windows! You could probably get it in your local library. Good blog, enjoyed reading it. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Search for: Search. Date: Aug 25, Author: Prof. Howard M. Williams 2 Comments.