Bag or Black Mere
Robert Charles Hope gives the following description of Bag Mere in ‘The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells’ (1893). “Before any heir of this [Brereton] family dies, there are seen in a lake adjoyning, the bodies of trees swimming upon the water for several days together.” — [Camden : Brit. (Gibson’s ed.), i. 677.]
Mrs. Hemans wrote a poem on this lake, “The Vassal’s Lament for the Fallen Tree.”
That black ominous mere,
Accounted one of those that England’s wonders make,
Of neighbours Blackmere named, of strangers Brereton’s lake.
Whose property seems farre from reason’s way to stand;
She sends up stocks of trees that on the top doe floate,
By which the world her first did for a wonder note.
—Drayton: Polyolb., xi. 90-96.
The following is extracted from ‘Crosby’s Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales’ (1815). ‘Three m NE is Brereton Hall Bracebridge esq This was the ancient seat of the family of Brereton. Near this place is the noted pool called Bag Mere in which it is said large trunks of trees were seen floating a few days previous to the death of an heir of that family when they again disappeared. A great part of this pool is now drained by which many acres of valuable land are recovered.