Hollinwood, Greater Manchester, England

A view of Hollinwood

The Mummy of Birchen Bower

The Mummy of Birchen Bower has become a Northern Legend, ever since the embalmed body of Hannah Beswick was displayed at Manchester Museum, until her burial 110 years after she died.


Hannah Beswick (1688 – February 1758) was a wealthy woman who had a pathological fear of premature burial following the 'death' of her brother, only for him to actually show signs of life shortly before burial and subsequently recover and live a long life. Following her death in 1758, her body was embalmed and kept above ground, to be regularly checked for signs of life.


Her body was displayed in a number of locations, evetually ending up at Manchester University. It was decided that her remains should be permanently interred, and she was laid to rest in an unmarked grave at Harpurhey Cemetery on 22nd July 1868.


The ghost of Hannah Beswick was reputedly sighted on numerous occasions, including at her home of Birchen Bower whenever her body was on display. Her apparition was also reported near her old home in 1920. In fact, several witnesses claimed to have seen a figure dressed in a black silk gown and a white cap there. Birchen Bower was demolished and the site is now occupied by a factory (pictured left), where more sightings of her apparition were reported. For a comprehensive account, we suggest that you read Britain's Haunted Heritage by Keith B. Poole.


Pictured left is the Ferranti Works/MEN Printing Plant, Hollinwood courtesy of David Dixon.


53°31'13.9"N 2°08'54.1"W approx


For further information, please read Britain's Haunted Heritage by Keith B. Poole.


Visitor Information

Hollinwood is an area in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, Greater Manchester, England.

Hollinwood is southwest of Oldham, off Junction 22 of the M60 motorway.

Pictured left is a view of Hollinwood courtesy of Jhamez84. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.