Elizabeth (Bessie) Sheppard - Memorial Stone.

Does anyone know if the commemorative stone for Bessie is still in this location. It is very many years since I was in that area, but remember it well from family summer walks as a child. 

The murder of a young Papplewick girl on the Mansfield Road in 1817 is one that is still talked about by some of us even today. It is perhaps for this reason that over many years it has, arguably, become one of the best known ‘Tales from the Mansfield Road’.

These events happened over 200 years ago. 

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  • This may assist in some small way in respect of location, it’s many years since I visited the exact spot. Other local contributors may well be able to be more precise.

    A stone was erected in February 1819, near to the spot where Bessie Shepherd was murdered, between Thieves Wood and Rickets Lane, on the east side of the A60. It was paid for by Mr Buckles and other Mansfield residents. Bessie’s body was interred in Papplewick church yard near the church tower.

    By Steeve Cee (01/02/2020)
  • Where is the memorial, is it the same side as Portland College?

    By peter charlesworth (26/01/2020)
  • Good work Richard, you are obviously very keen, well done! Seems a pity however that there appears to be little or *no ‘official’ help with your endeavours. Will hopefully get to have look on my next visit to Mansfield. Best wishes and thanks for the interesting latest update.

    *By official I mean any local / council / historical organisation/s etc, who may have a responsibility for such matters.

    By Steeve Cee (28/12/2019)
  • Hi
    Back in 1987 when I started to restore the memorial, I found that there were three stones in all, a footing stone, base stone and memorial with the inscription.
    I believe that this memorial is in its original position despite rumours of it being moved back during road widening. The reason why I assume this is I have old black and white photographs showing its position before the roadworks took place.
    I worked a sunken slate panel into the face and re-lettered the inscription onto it, simply to ensure that it would be readable for many years. Every year I maintain the stone.
    In February 2017, I fixed a ornament on the top, as early reports suggested that there had been an ornament fixed on the stone when it was first erected, however it went missing before any photograph could have captured what it looked like, so the design is my own.
    At the beginning, aged 20, I knew nothing about stone masonry until I read about the sad tale of Bessie Sheppard in a book, and on visiting the stone for the first time I had the over powering urge to take up masonry and restore the stone as it was in very poor condition at the time. I intend to maintain the stone as long has possible.

    By richard morley (26/12/2019)
  • It’s still there. I took a photograph of it this morning. The stone writing has been replaced by a brass plaque but the stone is still intact and visible

    By Kevin Dent (21/05/2019)
  • Glad to hear it Mark, haven’t seen it since the fifties, will be having a look again soon – thanks for the interest..

    By Steeve. C. (25/02/2018)
  • Yes the stone is still there. The council cleared the vegetation from around it last year, its quite visible from the road. Its on the edge of the wood about 50meters up from the dip.

    By Mark (23/02/2018)
  • Hi 

    As far as I am aware the stone is still there my brother was keen to see this which was about five years ago.  It took some finding but eventually we did.  I think the stone may have been moved at some point by the local council and I think there was some haunting’s but not sure of the circumstances.  I think there is new houses that has been built very close to the area but still there.



    By jon (01/02/2018)

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