In Claydon village, the witches reigned
Through dark shadows and driving rain,
Through frosted fields and hedgerow cutting
Silent landscape, covens muttering
Winds that howl, animals burrow
With spells and sacrifice, toil and sorrow,
The Claydon witches take hold of winter
Demons and hauntings playing and hinder
Cloaks of black, broomsticks and bowls
Drinking of potions, laughing and calls,
Holding of hands, divine dynasty
Tell the story of the Claydon witches
Take cover from the wind and evil
Beware of the flights and the witches season,
In day, the village is safe
By night, the ghosts the witches awake
By dawn the chill, the evidence lay bare
The morning dew removing night's despair,
Walking crunching beneath my feet,
In the distance the Steeple keep
The Call of the wild, crescendo lust drawn
The Claydon witches are all but gone,
But cometh the evening the dusk sparks fire
The Claydon witches dance for their desire
Cry out to their gods, their servants of dark
No breath of life has ever been so stark
In mindset reach for the glorious sun
A new day, old dream, broken, undone,
The chain of the witchcraft, to mention no more
Until the night for the witches to restore.
Originally written in 2001.
Steeple Claydon is one of three "Claydon" villages in north Buckinghamshire. The parish church, which has its origins as far back as 1120, is well known for it's Witch's Hat steeple which can be seen from miles around.
Like all villages, myths and superstition were and are rife in the Claydons. Stories of witchcraft were and are, not uncommon, particularly in the 1640s - 1700.
The current church is probably the Tudor church gifted to Catherine of Aragon in 1501 following her marriage to Prince Arthur on 14 November 1501. Catherine retained the church when she subsequently married Henry VIII on 11 June 1509. The main road in and out of the village is called Queen Catherine Road.
Cromwell and his troops were garrisoned overnight in fields opposite the church in January 1644 and may have worshipped under the Witch's Hat prior to the Battle of Hillesden.