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Thurston Clough Romans
Thurston Clough is a hamlet near Scouthead, roughly 1.5 miles from the village of Dobcross, Saddleworth and Janette Quinlan in Mystical Oldham (2010) refers to a letter received by the Oldham Evening Chronicle in 1973 concerning Roman soldiers haunting Thurston Clough. The Romans had been seen before World War I (about 60 years earlier) by the letter writer’s grandfather who lived at Scouthead near The Old Original Inn. The soldiers were led by a standard bearer carrying a wild boar’s head emblem*. As they marched they would sometimes appear to be walking above the ground and sometimes through it, which could be explained by the terrain having changed over the last 2000 years. The sounds associated with metal and leather armour was said to accompany the apparitions. The road from Chester to York came through Saddleworth past Castleshaw Roman Camp and evidence of a Roman road has been found at Scouthead.
*The boar was the emblem of Legio vigesima Valeria Victrix (Twentieth Victorious Valerian Legion, XX Valeria Victrix) which took part in the invasion of Britain in 43AD and remained stationed here at Chester (Deva Victrix) which they built.