On the present day B4086 Wellesbourne Road is Littleham Bridge. One evening in November 1820 William Hirons (or Hixons), a yeoman farmer from nearby Alveston, was on his way home from Warwick. As he approached the bridge in question he was mugged and left for dead by four assailants. He was found, fatally wounded, with his head resting in a hole. The parish constable, John Ashfield, suspected a gang of four and arrested them.
The stolen money was found in a box in the lodgings of one of the suspects. One of the pound notes had “one” written on it in red ink; William Hirons was able to tell the people who found him this, before he died. The four assailants were arrested, found guilty and executed.
The hole, which he had his head resting in though, started to gain a strange reputation. No matter how often and with what, it was filled in with, it was always found to be a hole again within a few hours. It became known as “Hiron’s Hole” and people avoided the area after dark.
The truth is discovered!
This went on for a long time, until an elderly lady admitted the truth. William Hirons was a popular employer. So his former employees, to ensure that he was not forgotten, used to empty out the hole, on their way to and from work, as a sort of memorial. As they all retired and died off this eventually stopped. There is certainly no recognisable hole there now.
William Hirons is buried in the old church in Alveston, where a memorial tablet records the tragic event.
“Tales of Old Stratford” by Betty Smith. Pages 64 – 66. “Haunted Warwickshire” by Meg Elizabeth Atkins. Pages 110 – 111.