According to the Reader’s Digest’s Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain (1977), the ghost of ‘Lady Grace Bennett’ haunts Gib Lane at Calverton, which takes its name from a gibbet that one stood there. She was the owner of the former manor house, now Manor Farm, at the north end of Calverton, next to All Saints church.

The Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire (1927), speaking of Manor Farm, says:

Local tradition place the scene of the murder of Mrs Grace Bennett in the servants hall, and the spot at which the murderer climbed over the wall and escaped into Gib Lanem an ancient pack horse track at the back of the house, was said to be shown by a stone in the wall bearing the date 1693.

Mrs Bennett (referred to as ‘Madam’ in the notice of her burial in the parish register), was the widow of Simon Bennett, who died in 1682, allegedly leaving her a prodigious estate. She is described as ‘a miserable, covetous and wretched person’, who living by herself in the house, ‘and being supposed to have great Store of Money by her, tempted a Butcher of Stony Stratford to get artfully into the House, and as there was no Body to assist her or call for Help, he barbarously murthered her’. This was on 19 September 1694.

The butcher, Adam Barnes, was later hanged and his body suspended in irons from a gibbet until it rotted and fell apart. The site of this gibbet is said to be marked by carvings of two gibbets on a barn built into the high stone wall surrounding the former manor house and its orchard.



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