The Ship Inn
Sir Philip Brocklehurst of Swythamley Hall sailed with the explorer Shackleton on one of his expeditions to the Antarctic from 1907-9. He is listed as being aged 20, and as Assistant Geologist although some sources say he was a paying guest. The pub sign on the Ship Inn depicts the Nimrod in Antarctic ice (and not the more famous Endeavour of the 1914 expedition). Shackleton was also Sir Philip's best man when he married Gwladys Murray in 1913.
Some say The Ship is named after another vessel, the ‘Swythamley’, which was owned by a friend of the squire and sank off the Cape of Good Hope in 1862. But as the pub reputedly dates back to the 17th century, it's possible that the name is linked with 'shippen', a local word for a sheep shelter, or with some much earlier boat altogether.
Wincle’s parish church was built in 1647 on the site of a Neolithic burial mound, and heavily restored in 1882. According to Sir Philip Brocklehurst’s book on the area, it was once said that a certain hospital in Manchester procured the bulk of its anatomical subjects from Wincle church’s graveyard, thanks to an unscrupulous sexton who was bribed to dispatch the bodies the night after they were buried.
The floor was originally not paved as it is now, but covered in rushes, renewed every July in a celebration that became known as ‘rush-bearing’.