Lovers Leap legend fascinates local radio station

Radio Derby visited the village recently to investigate the story of Hannah Baddeley, a lady jilted by the love of her life leapt from the cliff tops in Stoney Middleton. Miraculously she survived with no more than cuts and bruises when her voluminous skirts billowed out and acted like a parachute slowing her fall. The building at the foot of the cliffs where she came to rest took the name which it has kept to this day.

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The story

The Lovers Leap acquired its name after an incident in 1762, when a young woman by the name of Hannah Baddeley, daughter of William Baddeley and his wife Joan née Townsend. She was baptised 22 Feb 1738/9 and at the age of 24/5 attempted to commit suicide by throwing herself over the cliff top. Her lover, William Barnsley, had jilted her, and she had decided to end it all. Miraculously her billowing petticoats acted like a parachute on the way down, until they were caught in brambles protruding from a ledge. This saved her life and all she suffered were a few cuts and bruises. However, this story does not have a happy ending: Hannah died two years later of natural causes, still unmarried. She was buried 12 Dec 1764. Her father William died in 1758, and mother Joan in 1766, and they were survived by just one grandchild. The details of this event are recorded on an information board outside the Curry Cottage Restaurant that marks the location of the leap.

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