In 1946 Lyme Hall became a National Trust property. Prior to then, the hall had been the ancestral home of the Legh family from 1346. The park around the hall is substantial covering over some 1,300 acres or so. The land was originally granted to Sir Piers Legh for his bravery. During the Hundred Years War, he had rescued the Black Prince's battle standard. His son, Sir Piers Legh, succeeded him in 1399. This noble son fought at Agincourt with Henry V and died from wounds which he received at the battle at Meux in 1422.
He had a mistress, a young lady called Blanche. Despite their deep love, the affair had been a secret and indeed remained a secret beyond death. Unable to attend the funeral of her loved one, she could only watch the cortege from afar. To this day her ghost wanders there trying to get nearer to the funeral to be nearer her beloved at the last.
Pythouse - Semley, Wiltshire
This vast mansion is said to be haunted by, among others, the ghost of a housemaid called Molly.
She had accidently burned her child with boiling water. The child died from its injuries and poor Molly, grieving for her loss was then put to trial for murder, convicted and then hanged.
Oddly, the family insisted that Molly’s remains and the child’s be kept at the house. It was said by some that the child had been fathered by one of the family.
White Swan Inn - Harborne, nr Birmingham. The White Swan dates back to 1714.
In the 19th Century it was used by a well to do local businessman, John Wentworth, for meetings with his mistress.
In the 19th Century it was used by a well to do local businessman, John Wentworth, for meetingOn one of those meetings, his mistress was late and, looking outside the inn, John was horrified to find that the coach bringing his beloved to him had overturned on the way and she lay there, dead. Utterly distraught with grief, he first killed the only other love of his life, his dog and then dispatched himself. He is said, still to return to the inn in the hope of meeting his beloved once more.
Epworth Parsonage, Lincolnshire
A former inhabitant of the parsonage was the Rev. Samuel Wesley [1662 -1735]. He lived in the parsonage with his wife and sixteen children.
From about November 1716 through to January 1717 their peace became disturbed ... if you can have peace with sixteen children underfoot. Noises and disturbances started and became quite alarming. All of the residents of the house and their many visitors were witness to the goings on.
These goings on included ‘dismal groans’, ‘strange knockings in divers places’, ‘the sound of running footsteps’,’crashing sounds’ and a ‘sound of winding’. Sightings included an animal like a badger or white rabbit, a weird figure of a man in a loose nightgown. One of the door latches kept opening by itself.
St. Lawrence’s Church, Eyam, Derbyshire
The Rector of Eyam in the 17th century was William Mompesson. The ghost of his wife, Catherine, still haunts the church. Their happiness and deep love for each other was brought to an abrupt end with the arrival of the Great Plague which mercilessly took Catherine from William. She became known as the lady in the white dress.
Keeping with that unusual family name, a John Mompesson was the owner of Tedworth Manor House [now Tidworth Manor House] in Wiltshire. He was a magistrate. In 1661 there was much reported poltergeist haunting in the area and John Mompesson became known as the Drummer of Tedworth.
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Camlet Moat - Trent Park, Enfield
In the 12th Century this land was owned by Geoffrey De Mandeville, Earl of Essex and Hertfordshire, and Constable of the Tower of London. He was said to be a powerful and greedy man who changed allegiance depending on who he could gain most from. This is his story.
At first, he sided with Matilda, the daughter of Henry I, until Stephen, her brother, became King; then he changed sides and supported him. But then, after being well rewarded by Stephen he changed sides again to support his sister. For this, unsurprisingly, he was arrested and charged with treason.
His ghost still roams the site. Don’t trust him, if you meet him!