Lanhydrock House

The almost 900 acre Lanhydrock estate originally belonged to an Augustinian priory, but after Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s the estate passed into private hands. In 1620 a wealthy Jacobean merchant – Sir Richard Robartes – purchased the land and began to build what would become his family’s seat, the beautiful […]

The haunting of the Headland Hotel

The Headland Hotel opened its doors in June 1900. It had been envisioned and designed to be the finest hotel in South West England, and as its first patrons swept across the natural headland to the imposing red-brick building, they were certainly in agreement – in fact, King Edward VII and his Queen, Alexandra stayed […]

Bacon and the chicken

Pond Square lies in Highgate, North London. The body of water that gave the area its name is long gone, filled in in 1864, but the square is now famous for a much more unusual reason – London’s weirdest ghost. Sir Francis Bacon was an Elizabethan/Jacobean ‘courtier’, one with many hats, as he dabbled in […]

Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?

One sunny spring day in April, 1943, four youths went poaching in Hagley Wood, land belonging to the estate of Lord Cobham, part of the shadowy valley of the Clent Hills in the Midlands. They came upon an ancient, hollow elm tree – one that had a reputation time-out-of-mind, and was mistakenly referred to as […]

The Hammersmith Ghost

  As the year 1803 came to a close, a number of people came forward to claim that they had seen – and in some instances, been attacked – by a ghost in the area around Hammersmith churchyard, in West London. Some claimed it was the unhappy spirit of a local man who had committed […]

Hidden historical heroines (#06: Arbella Stuart)

  Lady Arbella Stuart (1575 – 25 September 1615) was an Elizabethan and Jacobean noblewoman, considered by many of her contemporaries to be the rightful heir to Elizabeth I.   Arbella was the only child of Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox, (of the third creation), and Elizabeth Cavendish. Her father’s mother was the daughter […]