Husbands Bosworth

The Hall at Husbands Bosworth is haunted by a ghost thought to be the restless shade of a Protestant lady suffering eternal remorse for refusing to allow a Catholic priest to come into the house to administer the last rites to a dying servant. It is said that the Catholic chapel built in the grounds of the Hall in 1873 was an effort to expiate her guilt. However, the lady still walks or her footsteps are heard.

Although the main block of the hall was built in 1792, the back of the house has brickwork from the sixteenth or seventeenth century. This gives credibility to the tradition of a stain on the floor that is said to be still damp after 300 years. It is explained as either Communion wine spilt by a priest in his haste to escape from Cromwell’s men, or else his own blood.

What modern authors, including Roy Palmer in 1985, do not say is whether the reference here is to the commissioners of Thomas Cromwell (c.1485–1540), the so-called malleus monachorum (‘Hammer of the Monks’) at the Reformation, or to the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), remembered in folk tradition for the destruction of churches and other buildings. The same ambiguity hangs over many local traditions of Oliver Cromwell as the great destroyer.



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