Graded locations

Listed buildings are graded in each location in this blog. Eg. Grade I, II* II of grade I is of most importance. Grade A relates to Scotland. See BLB

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Spofforth Castle, North Yorkshire - castle, manor house,

Name: Spofforth Castle ruins
Locality: 2 Castle Close, Spofforth, North Yorkshire HG3 1AP
Built: 13th century
Owner: English Heritage
GradeI II*
Website: EH

I've been to Spofforth Castle quite a few times, it is allegedly haunted by the blue lady, people say she took her own life by throwing herself from the tower. Now, I have frozen my whatnots off here waiting for this shade to turn up; I even stood out in the cold until 2am on Christmas Eve!

Its a cute place, set in the small hamlet of Spofforth 'Spoff' as we used to refer to it. We usually stay in the undercroft, it's really sheltered from the elements and there is a staircase that goes to nowhere, which comes in very handy on cold nights, the stones hold in quite a bit of warmth from the day. 

There is even a cute little window ledge for putting you flask, sandwiches and maltezers on :D 
I didn't hold much hope of been witness to anything paranormal at the castle, it almost always appeared 'dead'. Months were spent going back-and-fro and nothing! Not a sausage. Then one night, it happened! I was stood in an enclosed bit of of the undercroft and I saw for just a few seconds an electric blue circular light reflecting back off a side-wall. I tried to rationalize it, but couldn't find a good explanation for it. 

No one else saw it to corroborate if for me. Unfortunate this could be suggestion on my part as I know the story, but I saw it plain and simple. I was really pleased, maybe this is what people have been seeing? I can't say for sure that there isn't something atmospheric going on, its a damp old place, why blue? I am not sure it's anything paranormal, don't know for sure. I don't suffer from cyanopsia. It's got this sceptic thinking.

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A blue figure has been seen at the top of this tower, before plummeting to the ground below.

Wingfield Manor Estate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Illustration by Jules

Wingfield Manor - - 1478940

Name: Wingfield Manor
Locality: South Wingfield, Derbyshire, DE55 7NH
Built: 1439-53
Owner: English Heritage
Grade I
Website: EH

I visited Wingfield Manor a few years ago, that was the time when you could wander around alone, this is where I purchased English Heritages book that is beautifully illustrated by the famous infrared photographer Sir Simon Marsden ' This Spectred Isle. Now you can only go in on a pre-booked tour. 

Sir Simon Marsden photography

There is a pond on the walk up and my good friend Toby spotted a guy slumped over his fishing rod at the pond there, but we were sure if he wasn't asleep that he was dead; we dared one another to have a look, fortunately he wasn't dead it was a dummy! It was highly amusing at the time. 

People have reported that they have felt like they are being followed by a spectral presence.

Mary's Lights
Location: Wingfield - Wingfield Manor
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The spirit of Mary' Queen of Scots is reported to have taken a liking to the ballroom, while it is in debate whether the spheres of light seen floating around the site after dark are part of the same entity.

Richard Felix and Jules

Paranormal historian Richard Felix rates Wingfield manor as one of the top 10 most haunted places in Derbyshire. "The ruins of Wingfield Manor are said to be haunted by many ghosts, but most famously Mary Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned there in 1569, 1584 and 1585. Legend has it the hall is also haunted by Anthony Babington, the man responsible for her death".

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Drawing by Jules

Images courtesy of BBC

BBC drama 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell'

 — partly shot at Oakwell Hall

Yorkshire's Oakwell Hall manor house which is owned by Kirklees council is an Elizabethan building of major historic importance. It is  a Grade I* listed building with links to the Bronte family. 

Name: Oakwell Hall
Locality: Nutter Lane, Birstall, Batley WF17 9LG 
Built: 1583 (or there abouts)
Owner: Kirklees Council
Grade I
Website: KMC

Oakwell Hall which is a local to me, seems to be having a renaissance period at the moment, 'Shirley' a gorgeous house linked to the Bronte Sisters, with tales of crisis apparition. The house has been relatively ignored by 'ghost hunters', but thats changed somehow ?

Classified as a Crisis Apparition: Possible Veridical Haunting (Hallucination)

Oakwell Hall in Batley, West Yorkshire is a local haunt of mine 'so to speak' it has a famous legend.  The ghost of William Batt, a former owner of  Oakwell Hall in 1684 the ghost story comes from the Victorian writer Mrs Gaskell in her "Life of Charlotte Bronte".

"Captain Batt was believed to be far away; his family was at Oakwell; when in the dusk on winter evening, he came stalking along the lane, through the hall and up the stairs, into his own room, where he vanished. He has been killed in duel in London that very same afternoon of December 9th 1684."

Image courtesy of Oakwell Hall

A classic crisis apparition sighting, there is a legend that he left a bloody footprint behind in a bedroom, I remember seeing a dark stain on the floorboards many years ago but I can't remember which room I saw it in. Maybe it was just my young imagination.
A more modern witness saw children playing in the rear garden the children were wearing  period costume they ran off into a dead end part of the garden totally vanishing into thin air and never to be found outside nor inside the hall.

This is the back garden where the small children in period costume were seen by two visitors, only to just run off into a dead end disappear into thin air.

Source: Paranormal Database.

William Batt
Location: Birstall - Oakwell Hall
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: 09 December 1684 (Crisis Manifestation), other sighting in 1987
Further Comments: William's family saw him enter the hall on 09 December (some sources say Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, according to other accounts); they were surprised as they thought he was in London at the time. However, William suddenly disappeared and the following day the family discovered he had been killed in London around the time of his mysterious appearance. A woman wearing a Tudor dress was spotted hear in 1987 by an employee. The ghost stood by a window for several minutes before disappearing.

Most Haunted filmed at Oakwell Hall for Really TV.

Wikipedia entry