In the village of Earl Sterndale stands a pub with a striking inn sign.
One version of the story behind this image concerns Chattering Charteris, a twelfth century scold who was never content unless she was nagging her publican husband and making his life a misery. When she began to nag and complain in her sleep, too, he could no longer tolerate her and cut off her head with an axe. So pleased were his neighbours by his decisive action that they collected money on his behalf, some of which was spent on a headstone for Chattering Charteris, with a warning to all nagging wives carved on it.
There are less gory versions of the tale, but this one is most popular with storytelling audiences. One can but wonder why the wife of a presumably drunken and disorderly innkeeper should feel a continual urge to nag her husband.
The motto on the inn sign, “Soft words turnety away wrath”, seems ironic.
For the alternative story, see Mark P. Henderson, Folktales of the Peak District, Amberley Publishing, 2011, pp. 88-89.