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posticon berkshire ghosts


Ghosts of Abingdon Old Gaol
Hanged Prisoners still making Noises
When staff at a Thames Valley sports centre hear things that go bump in the night they know it is more than the ladies' aerobics class in action. Because there are ghostly goings-on at the leisure centre in the former Abingdon gaol - enough to make sportsmen's hair stand on end. Spooky voices have been heard doors bang mysteriously and ghoulish figures have been seen lurking in corners.

It is not surprising that the phantoms haunt the sport centre as years ago the building was the main gaol for the area and many a villain met a grisly end on the prison gallows. Stories about hauntings abound in the North Berkshire town. One of its ghoulish claims to fame is that the youngest person to be hanged in Britain met his end at Abingdon.

While the old gaol's deputy manager Steve Blosse has not had any chilling experiences he says many of his staff have had ghostly encounters. He said, "the building does have a reputation for unnatural goings-on. Staff say they have heard doors banging and other strange noises. “We used to have clothes baskets in changing rooms that started swinging for no reason at all and the previous manager claims he saw a ghost."

The health suite of the complex is built on the site of the prison chapel where the ill-fated men were given their last rites - and many spooky sightings reported there. The gaol was built by prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars and closed in 1890 when it became a grain store.

Referring to the child's hanging, Mr Blosse said, "he was only eight-years-old and staff have heard the sound of a child laughing and talking just as they are locking up." The Guinness Book of Records confirms that an eight-year-old youngster was hanged in Abingdon as he had "malice, cunning and revenge in firing two barns". But Mr Blosse insists that there is nothing sinister about the centre’s spooks. "They are quite harmless and they only seem to be around when there is building work going on. Perhaps they don't like being disturbed."

The haunted centre has chilling links with the oddly named Broad Face pub opposite the old gaol. The pub, which overlooks the site of the old gallows is said to have got its name from the hangings - as the victim's face swelled up when the noose tightened.

The Evening Post. 24th September 1998.



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Re: berkshire ghosts


more ghosts from Berkshire


Aldermaston


The Butt Inn is plagued by a mischievous spirit who slams doors and turns on the beer taps.

The ghost of a suicide haunts the vicarage.

Appleford

This village has the ghost of a man who is buried beneath an alter-tomb in the churchyard. He dislikes schoolboys sharpening their pocket-knives upon his final home and sneaks unseen to remove the offending but essential part of schoolboy furniture.

Arborfield

The old churchyard, adjoining the site of the long demolished Arborfield Hall, is haunted by the ghost of a murdered bride. A maid at the Hall, she was to be wedded to the gardener. However, the jealous butler could not bear her to be with another and dispatched her from the World. Her spirit returns at midnight every 1st January to stand beneath the yew tree and await her love’s arrival for their marriage. An alternative version has the girl becoming a suicide when deserted by the son of the hall who had promised to marry her.

The old Hall housed many evacuees during the Second World War. They clearly remember the ghost of a grey lady carrying a child gliding gracefully down the main staircase to the entrance hall.

The green at Arborfield Cross, beside White’s Farm opposite the ‘Bull,’ was once the site of a large pond, filled in after the War. It was here that the ghost of a local 18th century farmer’s wife – a supposed witch – would descend beneath the waters after having spent the night wringing her hands and groaning around the country lanes. She was finally bound in the pond under a large stone slab, by a group of seven priests called in to conduct an exorcism.

Ghostly horses are seen at the Remount Depot.

Ascot

A Berkshire policeman used to be seen pacing his beat at the junction of the A30, A329 & the A332, but only at night. The badly scarred face of the phantom, seen only when illuminated by headlights suggests that a horrible accident occurred in the vicinity at the beginning of the 20th century, especially as the bobby was wearing the high-necked tunic of earlier days.

The old ‘Royal Ascot Hotel,’ at the same junction, was demolished in 1964. The men undertaking the work stayed in the house for a number of nights and reported hearing the sound of footsteps within and a horse stamping and snorting without. Twice a grey or white horse was actually seen. The site is still supposed to be haunted by the sound of horse’s hooves on the long removed cobblestones. The local story seems to concern a phantom rider as well.

A certain late 19th century house in the town is haunted by the ghost of a previous owner. In the 1970s, the occupier saw him clearly in the hall and a baby has been heard crying in an upstairs room. The place has an eerie feeling and on one occasion, despite there being no wind, all the doors in the house suddenly slammed shut.

‘Huntingdon’ was a big old house on the Windsor Road, built in 1898, but demolished after being mysteriously set alight during a period of dereliction in 1977. The fire-officer who returned to inspect the building at three in the morning found the place to be extremely creepy. Then he saw an old lady in a long black dress, black boots and bonnet, on the stairs. He asked her what she was doing there and was about to throw her out, when she disappeared! This may have been the widow of a newly wedded soldier who was killed during the Great War. She lived in the house for many years afterward, always living the gate open, expecting his return.

‘Old Huntsman’s House’ on the Windsor Road was once haunted by a previous owner, Charles Davies. He was a Royal huntsman in the time of Queen Anne, but died after breaking his neck in 1792. The whole building has a very ‘creepy’ feeling and Mr. Davies has appeared in an upstairs room, dressed in his hunting pink. His spirit is presently at rest and it is said it will remain so as long as his portrait continues to hang in the main entrance hall. However, a phantom dog – big and woolly – is also said to bark in the corridors at night.

There have been many peculiar happenings reported at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club in the High Street. Doors fly open, the gas for the beer gets turned off, the record player is switched on or off and even the toilets flush, all apparently of their own accord. The culprit appears to be the ghost of lady of five foot six who glides along in a long robe an d a wimple: seemingly a nun. She tried to shut the steward in a cupboard!

There is a well-know case of a poltergeist haunting a modern house in Fernbank Road. It was associated with a Wooden Nigerian statue. Disturbances were last witnessed in 1976, but since the figure’s removal all activity has ceased.

Heathfield School is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a past headmistress, Margaret Clarke. She is said to have committed suicide.

Aston Tirrold

Unaccountable lights are seen round the village sometimes as long flashing trails between Lydds and Blewburton Hill or on Mile Furlong lighting up the trees at Lollington. A phantom coach passes along the Turnpike Road with galloping horses it is heard but nothing is ever seen. At Thorpe Farm, strange noises are heard and a little old lady is said to come and sit by the fire sometimes, but only a member of the Slade family can see her. The Slades bought Thorpe Farm in 1521


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Re: berkshire ghosts


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The Ghost of Lady Hoby
Beaten 'til the Blood Ran
Sitting peacefully on the banks of the Thames near Maidenhead is Bisham "Abbey", said to be the most haunted house in Berkshire. Unlike many other mansions with similar titles, however, Bisham is only haunted by one ghost. She just appears rather a lot. Her story, a tale of pride and selfishness, is a lesson to us all.

When the black monks of Bisham were forcibly evicted from their beautiful Abbey on the banks of the Thames in 1538, they did not go quietly. On the contrary, Henry VIII’s commissioners had to drag the Abbot kicking and screaming from the steps of the High Altar. He could not bear to see his Abbey fall into secular hands. As he was bundled into the cart that was waiting to take him away, he turned and cursed any family who should ever live there: "As God is my witness, this property shall ne’er be inherited by two direct successors, for its sons will be hounded by misfortune."

Misfortune has indeed struck the sons of Bisham’s owners, the Hobys and latterly the Vansittarts, with alarming regularity. The first instance of a sudden death in the family of the Lord of the Manor is, however, by far the most disturbing. This is the tale of poor little William Hoby.

The boy, William, was the youngest son of Sir Thomas & Lady Elizabeth Hoby. Like his brothers and sisters before him he was brought up at Bisham Abbey under the watchful eye of his mother, Sir Thomas having died when his children were very small. Lady Hoby was a personal friend of Queen Elizabeth I. She was very proud and ambitious, some might say even cold and hard. Being one of the most learned ladies of the age, Lady Hoby was eager to ensure that her children received the same rigorous education that both she and her husband had had. She therefore oversaw all her children’s tuition herself, going so far as to actually teach them certain subjects, such as Greek and Latin. Dame Hoby expected perfection from her pupils, and wielded a heavy ruler to make sure she got it.

Poor William was not as bright as his siblings. He constantly stumbled over his lessons and blotted his copybooks, and his mother’s quick temper was often lost. In her eyes he was nothing but a lazy good-for-nothing. A summerhouse had been constructed for the children on the edge of the lawn down by the River, where many of their classes were taken on sunny days. The villagers on the tow-path opposite were always able to see the youngsters scribbling away, while Lady Hoby walked sternly between them, watching over every letter. One gossip even related, over a pint of beer, how he had once heard violent shouts coming from the bower. On investigation, he clearly saw her Ladyship beating little William about the head with her ruler until he collapsed and fell to the ground. Blood streamed from his eyes, nose and mouth and saturated the grass.

Sadly, this was to be William Hoby’s lot in life. He was always slow and clumsy, and could never live up to his mother’s expectations. It was even rumoured amongst some of the locals that the little boy had some sort of brain tumour.

It happened one day that it was too cold for lessons in the summerhouse, so Elizabeth Hoby took her children up to the warmth of the Abbey’s tower room. For the elder children the class passed quickly and they were soon sent off to play; but poor William had got behind in his work and had to stay to finish it. Lady Hoby was already annoyed by her son’s stupidity, but then...Splat, Splat! William had pressed too hard on his quill again: the ink surged from the pen and spread over the page in front of him. To Lady Hoby the blots personified all that was wrong with the World. The ruler rose high in the air and came down like a rocket: "Crack!" on the little boy’s head. William wailed in pain as he fell to the floor. Again and again his mother beat him, till the blood ran once more. Eventually she halted. Her hands were covered with gore, but her anger had not yet been fully vented. Fetching some rope, she dragged poor William back up into his chair. There she secured him, tying the rope around his waist and legs. Finally she thrust the quill back into his hand and the copybook into his face. "You will re-write every word of today’s lesson, and it had better be perfect in every way, or you know what will happen!" she announced. Then she spun out of the room with a flurry. Slam! went the door, and Click! went the key in the lock.

Still fired up by the mornings events, Lady Hoby had a horse saddled and off she thundered into Bisham Woods. The chase would vent her fury. Soon after she left though a messenger arrived at the Abbey with a letter from the Queen. It was said to be urgent, so a page rode out to deliver it Lady Hoby at once. Her Ladyship was puzzled to see one of her servants ride up beside her, but her confusion turned to joy when she read the Royal message. She had been summoned to Court by Queen Elizabeth and was ordered to leave without delay. "Come," she said to the young page, "We must go at once." So off they rode to Windsor, without a thought for packing or saying goodbyes.

Lady Hoby revelled in Court life: the banquets, the balls, the handsome young men, the flirting, the flattery, the compliments, the gossip, and the envious eyes that poured over her friendship with the Queen. So, as you can imagine, it was several days before she felt ready to return home to mundane Bisham Abbey. She was not surprised when all her children but William ran out to greet her. He was probably sulking in his room. The child had no backbone. So Lady Hoby asked after her youngest son. "We thought he was with you, M’m," came the reply.

You can imagine how shocked the lady was to hear this news. If the servants had thought William was with her, then...Lady Hoby jumped down from her horse and raced up to the Tower Room; but, of course, it was far too late. Little William was dead.

Lady Hoby was filled with remorse for her wicked actions. If only she had not been so selfish, so strict, so violent, he would still be alive. She spent the rest of her life in sorrowful misery. Shortly after her death in 1609, her repentant ghost was seen wandering through the house. Lady Hoby has been seen many times since. A miraculous fountain floats before her and, not unlike the evil Lady Macbeth, she tries constantly to wash the accusing blood stains from her hands. She is especially known for her appearances in the Tower Room at the time of a Coronation, when she shows her guilt at choosing her monarch over her son.



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Yattendon

A ghost known locally as "Mrs. It” once haunted Yattendon Rectory. The former rector, the Rev. A.F.O. Farmer, and his wife told calmly and frankly of her frequent appearances, not only within their home, but out-of-doors. She was a small lady in an 18th century grey (or black) silk dress, shawl and flat hat who, because she evidenced herself most often before a party or similar company occasion, was thought to have been a one-time housekeeper there. Although some say she was the vicar’s daughter. She also helped with the household chores and revealed concealed hens’ nests. For years, this harmless wraith had been observed by members of the Farmer family and their guests, to the extent that she was taken for granted. Once "Mrs. It" startled some horses when she manifested herself suddenly behind Mrs. Farmer. The ghost seems to have terminated activities when the Farmers moved.

A meadow where wild daffodils grow and where there stands an old barn of flint and brick is haunted by the ghost of a former owner of the house which stood on the site before being destroyed in the Civil war. He wanders around the field.

  



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Bagley

In Bagley Wood there was a highwayman’s ghost, astride a white horse.

Bagnor

The Watermill Theatre is haunted by the ghost of a little girl who appears in one of the upstairs rooms. She may have been employed at the old fulling mill and have been killed when she got caught in the machinery.

Barkham

There are several ghosts which frequent the area around the Barkham Road. The spectre of a white lady on a white horse appears out of the mists around Rectory Marsh and heads towards the parish church. A phantom headless soldier roams along the Barkham Road. Possibly he was one of the injured ex-servicemen who bought plots of land in the area from the Walter family after the Great War. A large black animal, probably the ubiquitous ‘Black Dog,’ has been seen lurking along the high brick wall on the same road by at least one pair of motorists. It was not the creature that was so bizarre, rather the sense of terror which came over both of them at the same instant.

Basildon

Lady Fane, who lived in the splendid Basildon Grotto in the 1740s, was found drowned in a well within the house and her unquiet spirit is alleged to haunt the building. It used to appear before the fireplace in a certain room in the 1890s. More recent sightings have been of a silvery form moving up the staircase and brushing past observers at about four in the afternoon; or drifting across the lawn towards the river. The original story behind the haunting appears to have been lost. It has erroneously been said that Lady Fane was both the infamous ‘mistletoe-bow bride,’ suffocated on her wedding day, and that she was murdered by her husband. A member of the Women’s Land Army, stationed in the house in 1943, is recorded to have seen a ghost in the house, though she is thought to be a past serving girl rather than Lady Fane herself. A young woman with long copper-coloured hair, wearing a long pale green filmy ragged dress manifested herself at least twice and glid along a corridor towards the ‘blue bathroom’. Others have also seen her. The ghost always appears between October and January between nine and eleven in the evening.

Nobes was an eccentric farmer who had a fear of being molested after death, so he built a stone cell with a semicircular top, leaded to keep out the weather. His coffin was shut in and the key to the door thrown in to join him. However, the tomb was broken into and the lead stripped from the roof and there is little if anything left to see. The date on the door was 1692. Nobes ghost, riding his white horse, still haunts the Basildon Lanes nearby.

Basildon Rectory is haunted by a monk in a brown habit. Dogs are terrified of this restless spirit.

There is also the ghost of Nan Carey, the local witch. She is seen at midnight on the hill named after her.

Beenham

A ghost haunts Foddehouse Copse where Roundheads tethered their horses. It is reputed to be a headless lady with eyes like saucers.



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Billingbear

Billingbear House, now demolished, claimed a ghost of a lady in white. She had at one time been the lady of the house, but disappeared with it.

Blewbury

A previous landlord, who died in the 1950s, is thought to haunt the Blueberry Inn. Late in the evening, his footsteps are heard exiting his old bedroom and descending to the bar, perhaps to lock up for the night.

The artist and sculptor, Mr. Langford Jones lodged in a cottage in this village while his own house was being prepared for him. It was haunted by a mischievous poltergeist which moved or threw things around. He saw a wash-basin fly across his room right in front of his eyes.

The New Inn is haunted by the ghost of a previous innkeeper called ‘Old Edwin’.

The old hillfort on Blewburton Hill is haunted by the ghost of an old hunter. He rides up the hill on his horse and suddenly disappears amongst a clap of thunder.

Botley

A house in the village is said to have been haunted by the ghost of a Cromwellian soldier.

Boxford

If you scramble up the lane opposite ‘Chequers’ you will come to Huntsgreen Farm which has rather a charming ghost. The present owners have lived in this house for many years and they have nicknamed him ‘Horace’. Horace clutches you gently by the sleeve or skirt but does not attempt to detain you if you wish to go on. Apart from this possible evidence of loneliness, he appears quite harmless.

The barn at Lower Ownham Farm seems to house the ghost of ‘Old Tom’. According to a descendant of the Fisher family, once tenants of the farm, his name was Drewett and his family occupied the house long ago. One story says he hid his money in the barn and comes to search for it. Mrs Cook of Ownham has actually seen him. Apparently she went out to the barn to collect the eggs at dusk one evening and ‘Old Tom’ was sitting by a pile of timbers and junk. He was a small hunchbacked man in a brown waistcoat with brown buttons. “So clear I could have counted them” said Mrs. Cook. “I spoke to him,” she continued, “but he didn’t answer or move so I came in with the eggs. Then I went back, being curious, but he was gone.” Two other tenants of the farm have passed ‘Old Tom’ at dusk on their way indoors. Both spoke to him, but he made no reply and one home-comer remembered that he had not heard the gate close behind the apparent visitor, but it was locked in the morning as he had left it on coming in.

The cottage adjacent to Westbrook House is said to be haunted by one of the ‘chill & smell’ ghosts. A certain room begins to cool and grows rapidly colder whatever the size of the fire in it, and a very bad charnel smell pervades the room. Then the whole thing passes off leaving the room normal. Nothing is seen or heard, or even felt, except the intense cold.

Bracknell

The Old Manor, now a pub, was once one of only two buildings which made up Bracknell. They stood alone in the middle of Ascot Heath. In Tudor times, it was the home of a Catholic family who hid many persecuted priests in the secret ‘priest-hole’ now to be seen in the bar named after it. The spirit of one of these cowled figures has been seen several times around the building and has been nicknamed ‘Old Fred’. He seems to have been confused with another character, a regular at the pub in the early 1970s name Bert. He appeared soon after his death and was easily recognised by his large portly frame, his red-face and handlebar moustache, always wearing a chequered hat. Some say there is also a spirit of a young girl in the building.

South Hill Park is a beautiful red brick mansion constructed at the end of the 19th century, but incorporating part of an older house of 1760. It has an infamous reputation as a haunted house. There are constant unexplained bangings, wailings, rattling of keys, footsteps and cold rushes of air. Doors that always stick suddenly slam shut, lights come on by themselves and visitors have a sense that they are being watched. The main culprit is thought to be Major Rickman, the building’s owner, who, having exhaustive debts, shot himself in the gun-room (now the gents loo). However, some witnesses have had the feeling their ghost was that of a playful child. Others of a middle-aged man on the stairs, unsure of passing by the living. One explanation has it that the child or children died in a terrible fire in their nursery in the 1890s, and that the man on the stairs is the butler or footman who tried to save them. Others say that the phenomena are connected with a laundry maid was boiled to death during an accident in the kitchen.

Quelm Lane, where dogs will not walk, is said to be haunted by a phantom rider on a huge black horse. He is looking for small children who he will scoop up beside him, never to be seen again. The tale seem to indicate a Herne the Hunter type character, but Quelm Lane means ‘Hangman’s Lane’ and probably shows the ghost to be that of a criminal hanged on a local gibbet.

Several apparitions are said to have appeared to a family who lived at the ‘Old Farm’. Two ghostly little girls were seen both in the garden and elsewhere within the house. About eight years old, one had long hair done up in pigtails and wore a pale three-quarter length dress. An old woman also appeared on the stairs, leaning over the railing, as if looking for the children.

On the edge of Harmans Water, an old house called ‘Emblems’ once stood between A332 and Elizabeth Close. Built in 1890 as the Callingham Nursery, only a great Wellingtonia tree remains to remember its early horticultural history. It later came into the hands of an avid stamp-collector and when considerably extended, in 1928, it became named after a rare stamp watermark which held pride of place in the owner’s collection. Its symbolism even decorated the ornamental brickwork. In the 1960s and 70s the building was troubled by a number of spectral noises and sudden drops of temperature. The most notable manifestations were footsteps heard clearly by several witnesses on the landing, descending the stairs, and pausing before returning once more. This thought to be the mother-in-law of the stamp collector. In her old age, she became quite absent minded and would often begin to go downstairs, only to forget why she was doing so. Thus she returned whence she came.

The ‘Horse & Groom’ nearby is haunted by an old lady who was often seen upstairs in the 1960s. Her footsteps were also heard as she busied herself with household chores. The spirits cabinet also used to mysteriously unlock itself even after the lock was changed. This latter phenomenon may be related to an infamous murder which occurred at the inn in 1810.



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Bradfield

During the Commonwealth, the sensational John Pordage was Vicar of Bradfield. In his time there were very queer goings-on at the Rectory, which became troubled with hordes of spirits, among them a huge fiery dragon with a tail eight yards long which engaged the rector in combat for several hours on end! One of the houses now incorporated into the college also had the reputation for being haunted.

Bray

Over the almshouses there is a statue of a man in white. When the church bell strikes midnight, he gets off his plinth and walks down to the river for a drink.

The ghost of a white lady is seen at the parish church. She was an eighteen-year-old servant-girl named Hetty Slack who got herself into trouble and subsequently drowned herself in the Thames at Bray Lock. Once two women were laughing and joking about the legend, near the girl's grave. Their laughs did not last long, for a tile mysteriously came crashing down from the church roof and smashed at their feet.

Braywick

Braywick House is haunted by a white lady who walks in through the front door, up the stairs and into the attic. From here, she opens the east window and throws herself out! Her footsteps are often heard in the empty attic, but the suicide itself only re-enacted every seven years. There is also the ghost of an Elizabethan man there, dressed in a ruff with a pointed beard. He wanders around the typing desks and has also appeared on the stairs.

A more modern haunted site is Shoppenhangers Manor Conference Centre at Maidenhead, built in 1915 though the site has been a manor since the 13th century. In 1971, during preparations for a dinner for a group of guests, a waiter was slightly perturbed at seeing the ghostly figure of a tall man in grey clothes glide across the landing on the first floor. On mentioning the incident to colleagues, he learnt that others had seen the spectre but usually at two in the morning. Some believe the figure is that of an elderly family retainer of Tudor days who was killed in a fall down the stairs.

Brightwalton

The former 'The Marquis of Granby' has several ghosts. They include a headless man standing in a neighbouring field; a man whose only clearly visible feature is his face; and a Victorian lady who walks through a now bricked up door. The last ghost has been seen by at least two separate customers. Mrs. White, granddaughter of a former innkeeper there, has seen both the headless man and the ‘man with a face’.

Brimpton

On stormy nights, a carriage taking a party of young people to a hunt ball in Newbury were driving down Brimpton Lane going via Abel Bridge. But the old wooden bridge had been swept away in the storm. The carriage and horses plunged into the river and all the occupants were drowned. A ghostly carriage and pair is said to travel down Brimpton Lane on a certain night in January. Often only the screams of the passangers and the whinnying of the horses being heard. The ghost of a girl searching for her lover is said to haunt a certain cottage in the village, but she has not been seen for some time.

Buckland

The ghost of a white lady haunts the manor.

Bucklebury

The village acquired notoriety in eth early 18th century when Frances Winchcombe, eldest daughter of Sir Henry Winchcombe, married Henry St. John (later Lord Bolingbroke) in 1701. Two years afterwards, she inherited the manor and the rising politician and his beautiful wife entertained lavishly. Dean Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot and, probably, Queen Anne were among their guests. This happy period was short-lived. By 1713, Lord Bolingbroke had deserted his wife and he fled to France in 1715 to escape impeachment. It is said that she died of a broken heart. Lady Bolingbroke’s unhappy ghost is said to drive through the village in a coach drawn by the four black horses, often seen near the old fishponds, and on one night of the year she sits in the drawing-room of the Old Vicarage.

An evil spirit is said to waylay nocturnal travellers and chase them down the Devil’s Steps at Hawkridge.

What is described as a ‘grisly apparition’ appears in broad daylight on the isolated common called Bushnell’s Green.

A lady in white flits along the Oak Avenue near the Beenham turning on the Common.

Two phantom monks have been seen near the medieval fishponds on the Common. They were constructed for the Abbot of Reading who owned the manor.

Mad Kitty’s Pond is said to be haunted, presumably by Mad Kitty!

Burchetts Green

The story of ghostly druids at Burchetts Green House garden was first revealed by the owner around 1960, having heard it from the villagers. This is on the of St. Davids pilgrimage route from London, where it went through Maidenhead (St. Mark’s Road, Farm Road through to the Thicket, Burchetts Green, up Ashley Hill, through Warren Row to Henley, Oxford and thence Wales). One wonders if perhaps the ghosts of hooded pilgrims have been mistaken for druids.

The farmers ploughing the field west of Green Lane near Boundary Elm claim that the ghost of a headless Roman Centurion rushes down from Ashley Hill. He disappears into the ground near Boundry Elm.

Students at Hall Place claim to have seen a coach and horse crossing the lawn at the back of the house. The ghost of a coloured servant has also been seen at Black Horse Lodge.

A member of the local archaeological society once saw the ghost of what appeared to be a Saxon man skulking around the bushes in his garden at Burchetts Green. When the society investigated, they found some Saxon pottery in a nearby field, along with much early British material: pots and a low flint wall and a wheel. Perhaps they had they found the dead man’s farm.

Burchetts Green Lane is haunted by a tax collector, named, Bogey Todd, who was beaten to death by the villagers.

Claude Duval is said to haunt the area. He may be the same as the ‘phantom horseman’ who is seen on Maidenhead Thicket.

Woodlands House is also said to be haunted.



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Sep/9/2007, 1:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: berkshire ghosts


some photos carried on from the above


billingbear house-now demolished
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blewburton hill
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south hill park
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shoppenhangers manor
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buckland park
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claude duval-said to haunt burchetts green
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Last edited by MaTTsWoRld, Sep/9/2007, 1:23 pm


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Re: berkshire ghosts


Charlton

There used to be a ghost which haunted the Hell Pits.

Childrey

Rampanes Manor, the ancient home of the Fettiplace family, once had a ghost who often used to frighten the serving maids. He was a cavalier on horseback, who appeared to be looking for something, but he has not been seen since a hoard of Jacobean coins was dug up in the 1930s while alterations were being made to the drive. Perhaps the man was part of King Charles I's entourage, for he spent the night of 16th April here in 1644.

Cholsey

At the beginning of the 20th century, a Miss Walters lived in an old cottage between the Elms and Bloom's Cottage. The house has since been demolished, though some associated barns survive. She lived alone and was troubled by the noise of stones being thrown at her door. Later, her kitchen furniture was thrown about the room. She thought an intruder had come down the chimney to disturb her, so a farm labourer was called in one night to watch for the culprit. He saw no one, but heard stones being thrown and Miss Walters' screams. Investigation revealed the kitchen in turmoil again though no-one had gone in or out. This poltergeist visited again at odd times for several years until Miss Walters' death.

The house ‘Broadlands’ in West End, one of the oldest in Cholsey, was haunted by the ghost of a young woman. The Rev Philip Pare, when the Vicar of Cholsey, exorcised the ghost and it has not been seen since, though visitors have reported feeling a presence.

There is also a ghost in Station Road. This one is a man, with prominent buckles on his shoes, who has been sighted on several occasions.

Nearby, in one of a row of thatched cottages demolished in the 1930s, there was an active, noisy poltergeist in the attic. When the attic was investigated a pair of glasses and some documents were found. The family in residence could not read so the papers were never properly looked at, but once they were removed the noises stopped.

Clewer

The Swan Inn is reputedly haunted, perhaps by publican who was a part time Coroner’s assistant and mortician.

Clewer Hill House, now demolished, had a spare-bedroom which was never used because of its oppressive atmosphere. The maid used to hurry through her work in the room in order to spend as little time as possible there. It has been suggested that some unknown tragedy occurred there.

The Church of England’s Children’s Society ran a children’s home in another large house since demolished. One of the bedrooms there had to be turned into an office because of the bad atmosphere. Strange mists appeared without explanation and the temperature would drop dramatically. These manifestations were supposed to be those of a nun of the Anglican Sisterhood of St. John the Baptist who had previously owned the building. She had apparently hanged herself there.

Cockpole Green

Putter’s Farm is haunted by a horse with clanking chains on its harness which walks up to the nearby ridge at midnight. A certain room in the house is also reputedly atmospheric in the worst sense of the word.

Compton

Compton Railway Bidge is haunted by the ghost of a man who met an unfortunate death there. During the 1920s, a train travelling to Compton pulled to a halt with one of the carriages straddling the bridge. A passenger stepped from the train, thinking it had stopped at the platform and fell to his death onto the road below. There are rumours of a brick in the structure commemorating the event.

Compton Beauchamp

There is said to be the ghost of a woman who spins incessantly which haunts the village.

Cookham

A ghostly coach or hay cart haunts the village where it slipped into a ditch down by the river and killed all the occupants.

More than one person has seen another coach, drawn by six headless horses, pull off the upper Maidenhead Road and drive uphill towards the gasworks.

In the same area, on several occasions, a headless lady in a white dress has appeared, riding a white horse up Whyteladyes Lane. At Halloween, she is said to dismount and walk up Winter Hill.

A white hare also haunts Cookham.

Cookham Dean

A coachman haunts the Cookham Dean area, driving a carriage with a pair of white horses and with his head in his lap.

In 1800, a Maidenhead man claimed that, walking one day from Pinkneys Green to Cookham Dean, he saw, in the sky above the Common for several minutes, the shape of great mountains and a pass up which troops, mules, baggage and artillery were toiling. At the same time, he discovered later, Napoleon's Army had been crossing the Alps.

The Common is also a place favoured by the ghost of Herne the Hunter. He was seen there wearing his ritual antlers by a lady and her terrified dogs in the 1920s. Read the full story.

Cox Green

The Lillibrooke Manor area is haunted by the ghost of spectral lady on a white horse.

Cranbourne

The sound of unshod galloping phantom horses was heard outside the ‘Herne’s Oak’ in the 1940s, but has not been heard since.

Crazies Hill

A phantom lady on horseback rides between two large trees across Hyghams at Gibstoude Farm.

Cumnor

At Cumnor Place there was the ghost of poor Amy Robsart, mysteriously murdered wife of Robert Dudley, later Earl of Leicester, Elizabeth I’s favourite and rumoured lover. The story goes that, running to greet her husband, in 1560, she fell down the stairs and broke her neck. There were no witnesses of this, for all the servants had conveniently been sent off to Abingdon Fair. Rumour has it that Leicester had created a concealed pit at the bottom of the staircase, hoping that Amy’s death would leave him free to marry the Queen; but the appearance of her ghost on the stairs was taken as a sign that the fall was no accident and the monarch dropped him like a hot brick. It seems that nine parsons from Oxford attempted to lay the unquiet spirit in a nearby pond but were unable to do so and it has been said that the water in the pond, thence called ‘Lady Dudley’s Pond,’ never froze again. The terrible noises which used to be heard at night kept the house untenanted until, decayed and deserted, it more or less fell to bits and was finally taken down in 1810. The ghost of the beautiful Amy may have since found rest, though occasionally she is said to still be seen on the site of the old house.



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Re: berkshire ghosts


Donnington

A phantom Civil War skirmish is sometimes re-enacted in Love Lane near Donnington Castle. A Royalist Cavalry patrol was attacked at night by superior Parliamentary forces and three cavalry officers were killed.
Not surprisingly, the historic castle itself has many more ghosts. A certain green lady is said to sometimes be seen there. She appears at the castle gates and asks passers-by why they are closed, before suddenly disappearing. One wonders if this might be Lady Hoby enquiring as to why she has been locked out of her own castle, during her dispute with the Earl of Nottingham. See Lady Hoby's Biography. Phantom candlelight has also been seen passing the windows of the locked gatehouse, late at night.

Another tale is told by a group of young lads camping amongst the castle walls. They all heard a horrible scream and crossed to the other side of the castle, where they all saw an elderly Royalist soldier with a curly-headed young woman in a headlock, pulling her hair. They couldn't believe their own eyes as she continued to scream for help. Though petrified, one of the boys managed to shout at the cavalier to "leave her alone"; in reply to which the phantom let out one hell of a growl and carried on pulling his victim's hair still more. When the group started forward to intervene, the soldier stood, let out another almighty growl and both figures completely vanished!

In the Summer of 1990, a couple saw what seemed to be a 'white dog' appear from behind the low wall on the far-side of the castle. It disappeared down the bank, heading towards the woods, but, upon looking after it the witnesses discovered it had gone. Yet it was a physical impossibility for anything to reach the bottom before before the whole bank came into view. On another occasion, the lady of the duo saw a phantom guard standing beneath the west gate, while her partner saw nothing.



Earley

There was a particular room at Erleigh Court, long since pulled down, which was said to have been haunted. There are certainly tragic associations connected with the old house which would warrant ghostly visitations.

Easthampstead

The mill-pond between Wildridings and the Southern Industrial Estate is a well-known recreation place in Bracknell. An old story is told of the miserly miller who lived there in the 17th century. During a year a famine, the man refused to share his flour with the locals. One night, an starving man knocked on his door and asked for help. The miller quickly sent him away, but was shocked, next morning, to find him dead on his doorstep. After that, nothing went right for the miller and his family and they were eventually driven from the mill by the dead man’s ghost. Soon afterward, the mill burnt down and the hauntings ceased.

Two sisters, living in a house near Caesar’s Camp, once heard the sound of voices and marching steps outside at night. Looking out of the window, there was nothing to be seen, but the noises continued. Was this Caesar’s army marching on the native inhabitants of the camp? One of the ladies was also awoken one night by the apparition of a red-haired man with a very striking face; while her nephew saw a phantom with a much deformed face on the road outside.

Easthampstead Park is haunted by the ghost of Lady Downshire who lived there in the 19th century. She walks along the landing and down the main staircase and has been seen by many past pupils at the school to which the building is attached.

East Hanney

Dandridge's Mill Bridge is haunted by a little old lady. She wears a long white skirt and a white bonnet. She comes scurrying along the road carrying her rustling skirts to keep them from trailing in the ditch that ran along the road. She comes along the road on the opposite side from Hale Cottage. When she gets to the Mill Bridge, she climbs over the metal railing (at the side of the bridge) and jumps into the brook and is gone! She is possibly the old lady who lived in Hale Cottage and who committed suicide and may date from the late 18th or early 19th century (judging by her costume). A well‑attested sighting occurred during the Second World War when two villagers were on Home Guard duty.

East Hendred

Old Mrs. Chatterton, who died in 1946, saw in her house, ‘Barn End,’ a number of Roundheads without feet. Some of Cromwell’s men slept there after the battle of Newbury. She later found out that the floor had since been raised.

The ghost of a man who was murdered by his servants haunts a field near Ludbridge.

The ghost of a grey lady haunts ‘Snells’.

Enborne

The ghost of a sentry stood night after night at the lane junction hard by the cottage - Bigg’s Cottage - where the Earl of Essex slept before the First Battle of Newbury. He supposedly reappears on the anniversary of the battle and horses will not pass by the spot. Essex himself has been seen in the cottage. In 1965, the two Hesketh sisters who lived there were treated to his manifestation in one of the upstairs bedrooms. With a serious look on his face, he walked slowly about in a large broad-brimmed hat with a flat top, but the two were not alarmed.

The, now demolished, Cope Hall was well known as a haunted house where a clergyman had murdered his wife. The place had a spooky atmosphere and the site still does. Passers-by may suddenly feel very cold for no apparent reason. Not surprisingly, considering the lane outside is said to have been piled high with bodies during the First Battle of Newbury.

Enborne House is haunted by an often unseen ghost who clanks around and rattles chains. The spirit is that of an old man, bent almost double by age and with his hands and feet shackled. He was seen walking slowly down the dark corridors in eth 1930s. Another spirit, in a wide skirt, observed in the garden is thought to be a beautiful Newbury girl of the 18th century who was murdered in the house, by her lover, in a fit of jealousy.

A very deaf old lady who lived ‘near Newbury,’ presumably in the Enborne area (though possibly at Speen), once came running downstairs to exclaim her shock at the loud noises outside. Yet the rest of her family could hear nothing. There were apparently people shouting, horses neighing and even the sound of cannon fire. It was only afterward that they discovered that it was the anniversary of the Battle of Newbury

Englefield

The ghost of one of the past owners of Englefield House, Powlett Wright Esq., is reputed to haunt the building and the now blocked tunnel under the back region of the house, as well as walking from the house to his wife’s grave at the church. Horses will not enter the port cochère. Powlett had gone to sea, while his brother remained at home, trying to convince the locals that the Lord of the Manor was dead. Eventually, the lies became the truth though, and Powlett’s apparition was seen at the window of the house. Since then, many bygone villagers have reputedly given evidence to this effect and with a house so steeped in history, it is small wonder, perhaps, that it should still be visited in spiritual form by one or other of its colourful owners.

  

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Sep/20/2007, 8:56 am Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 


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