Woodcroft Manor, near Helpston, in the Soke of Peterborough, was where Dr Michael Hudson, one of King Charles I’s chaplains, met an untimely end. He had assembled a band of yeomen to protect the surrounding area from plundering Roundheads in Cromwell’s army. At first he was successful, but at length he met with an overwhelming force and fell back on Woodcroft Manor, and was besieged there. The Roundheads broke through, slaughtering his small force until he found himself the only survivor. Though he offered to surrender, the Roundheads refused and six of them forced him over the parapet of the roof. As he clung to the parapet, a soldier cut off his fingers and he fell into the moat. He managed to struggle to the bank, but there was dispatched by the pikes of his enemies. The manor was said by Christina Hole, writing in the 1940s, to be still haunted by the sound of clashing steel and cries of ‘Mercy!’ and ‘Quarter!’



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