Aston Hall

In 1872, the folklorist J. S. Udal inquired through the pages of Notes and Queries whether there was any basis for the ‘rather startling and fearsome legend’ popularly linked with this fine Jacobean mansion in Birmingham. The story was that at some unspecified time in the past one of the Holte (or Holt) family who owned the estate suspected his wife of conducting a love affair (or rather, in Udal’s Victorian phrase, having ‘too great a familiarity’) with one of the servants. He punished her by keeping her imprisoned in a small room at the top of the house, just below the roof; food was passed to her through a narrow hole in the wall, and she survived there for some years until eventually she died. The place was reputed to be haunted, with rattling chains and other sinister sounds. A more recent tale is that one of the top-storey rooms (the same one?) has been called Dick’s Garret ever since a man of that name hanged himself in it because of an unhappy love affair, and that he now haunts it.



Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008

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