What are ghosts? Evidence seems to point to two types. Those that are truly the embodiment of dead people with whom we can interact, and others who simply go through the motion as apparitions caught on an endless reel of film, as if trapped, right on the edge of the our observation, who we never come in contact with, but we may see from time to time.
There is a third ghostly phenomena which I call a “time slip” where very occasionally it is possible to see other people, inanimate objects such as stage coaches, buildings, from an earlier time. You may have witnessed a much earlier period by walking through an unseen portal into another century.
There is a subtle difference between a ghost and a spirit. A ghost is the earthly manifestation of a spirit which returns to places it knew or to which it was deeply attached by some awful, compelling or traumatic event at the time of its passing. Sometimes ghosts return to places they lived in and go through the routines of life that they had in their earthly existence. They are so much part of that place that they are imprinted on it. This is the same as we, ourselves, in our earthly lives going through the same old routine day in day out. Going to work, coming home, eating dinner, having a cup of tea, fish on Fridays, that sort of thing. The ghost travels the immediate area and environment it once knew and will not always move on to the higher spiritual levels where most of our ancestors go after they are dead. Even so spirits who have moved on return from time to time and make their presence felt. Particularly where a close relative or friend needs their help. It is not an exact science being a ghost, the same as life in the physical world!
This story deals with a few hauntings in Nuneaton that have been recorded over the years, which are worthy of mention. The catalogue continues to grow and I hope that this will trigger some ghostly sightings, which I do not know about. If so I will be delighted to hear from you.
The Ghost at Nuneaton Grammar School Members of staff have told me that the old part of the Grammar School is haunted. Those that have seen it believe it to be a Victorian lady, maybe a member of staff. Does anyone know more?
The Ghostly Lord Hop and Horestone Grange
In the 19th century, there stood across the fields from Nuneaton town, a jumble of grey stones, tumbled down walls and derelict cowsheds. This was the remains of the old Manor House of Nuneaton – Horestone Grange. When the Nuneaton to Hinckley railway line was built and opened in 1862 it cut straight through the remains of the grange and the rubble was ploughed into the earthworks of the railway. Its three moats were partially filled in. In later years the outer moats too became filled up, in one case with truckloads of the remains of old railway company emblazoned crockery and china thrown out when grouping of the railways took place in 1923, and the old companies ceased.
Before this the remains of the Grange, which had fallen into greater dereliction year by year, stood grey and forbidding in an area remote from the town. It was considered a place to avoid in those far off days. Shunned by our superstitious ancestors. Its reputation was so terrifying that few would venture near it. Its ghostly story manifested itself onto the area of town nearest to it so that what we know today as Wheat Street, Oaston Road (formerly Odd-a-Ways Lane, or Horestone Lane), Regent Street and Bond End were blighted with some kind of ghostly presence. Children were scared to linger in these roadways especially at the dead of night.
Our story starts back in the 17th century when the Stratford family acquired part of the manor of Nuneaton. The Stratford’s were one of England’s largest landowners and richest families. John Stratford bought Horestone Grange in 1648. It became his principal seat, but it was not long before he cast his net wider for more real estate to buy. He purchased the Brett’s Hall and Ansley Hall estates, which he merged into one, and then Merevale where his descendents through a female marriage remain today – the Dugdale family.
Another property held by the Stratford’s was a remnant of the old Abbey in Nuneaton whose lands at that time extended down to the Market Place in Nuneaton. A few yards to the north of the Market Place stood another substantial mansion. John Stratford’s mother (Abigail Stratford, nee Pargiter, of Greetworth, Northamptonshire) lived there. It was a dower house for the family. We do not know just when it fell out of use and became unoccupied, but by 1800 it had fallen into disrepair, was derelict and it was demolished around that year. (Stratford Street was built about 1855 on a piece of ground called – Hall Gardens –, which was part of the extensive grounds of the old mansion. I speculate that this might have been the old Habbitt or Abbot’s house of the Abbey itself.)
After John Stratford moved out of Horestone Grange, probably sometime in the 1670’s Horestone Grange was let to Charles Beale ( -1699) who used it as a woollen cloth factory. I believe that this deal was part of the commercial empire of John Stratford’s family who were wool-merchants and dealers in woollen cloth on the London market.
Charles Beale lived there until his death in 1699. Descendents of his family today believe that his son, also named Charles, carried on the business during the early years of the 18th century. After this we lose track of Horestone Grange in the written records. It is clear that it was complete and intact until the 1740’s. No subsequent occupants are known but the Stratfords still owned the property, and their descendents, the Dugdales did so as late as the 1970’s when it was still open fields. Around about the year 1740 a traumatic event happened which for over one hundred years afterwards was remembered by Nuneaton people. Horestone Grange burnt down in a great fire and one of these Stratford’s, thought to be Edward Stratford ( -1740), according to local folklore fell from his horse as he rushed back to the Grange from his usual seat in the bar of the Bull Inn (now the George Eliot Hotel). That is the legend.
The reality was Edward Stratford was a very rich landowner with 26,000 acres of land in Ireland and 8,000 in England most of which is believed to have been in Warwickshire. His family also owned Stratford House, just off Oxford Street , in London. They also had business interests in Hamburg, Germany in the Wool trade. In fact the Stratford’s were said in the 17th century to be the second richest family in England with property and assets even then worth over £1 million pounds, which was a huge amount of money in the 17th century. Their earnings from the production of tobacco alone, on their Cotswold estates, were worth £20,000 per annum. By the 18th century their fortunes had waned a bit. Members of the family found themselves on the wrong side of Cromwell after the Civil War and had property confiscated, but somehow the Warwickshire Stratford’s managed to cling on to the right side and retain their estates.
Edward was by all accounts an eccentric character as his descendent, Gerald Stratford, said his demeanour could be assessed by the way he treated his two sons. The oldest was disowned for marrying a Catholic and the second disowned after a fight between him and his father outside after a church service, outside the church. Records in Dublin refer to him as a Colonel in the Militia. He refused a peerage offered to him by King William of Orange. He had also fought at the Battle of the Boyne.
In Nuneaton I think this is the Stratford, Edward Stratford, who had rather a dismal reputation in the eyes of local residents. Up until that time the residents of Nuneaton town had right of common on Horestone fields. They could graze their animals there in accordance with some old statute. In 1735 Edward Stratford succeeded in enclosing Horestone fields and gave as compensation a parsimonious bit of ground between Weddington Lane and Higham Lane. Later known as Cottager’s Piece. This is why there was a pub in that area – The Graziers Arms – named after the graziers who had right of common grazing for their animals on Cottager’s Piece. There was another pub there as well known as the “Gardeners Arms” which took its name from those old Nuneatonians who gardened on this common land and grew crops. The Gardeners and Graziers offered refreshment to the people who had right of Common before they staggered home with their sacks of potatoes and cabbages to their court tenement cottages in Nuneaton town.
The locals took a dislike to the squire of Horestone Grange for his act of enclosure, and taking account of his drinking too liberally for his own good in the inns and taverns in town when in residence at Horestone Grange, nicknamed him “Lord Hop”.
Alfred Scrivener (1845-1886) editor of the Nuneaton Observer in 1878 takes up the tale:
“Where the North Western station now blocks the way was formerly an open green, the Leicester highway broadening out at the entrance to the town. Near by in Bond End, stood the Dun Cow round which yet lingers traditions of the ghostly Lord Hop, who was believed to have driven about this end of town at midnight in a phantom carriage drawn by four headless horses. The awful charioteer was supposed to have been a former owner of Oaston, or as Dugdale spells it “Horestone” Grange on whom this dreadful penance was imposed for the unlawful enclosure of common lands. I know not why he should have imposed his ghostly visits on the Old Dun Cow, but some 70 years ago (1808), a pot valiant guest, mocking at the tale, wagered to sit all night in the inn alone. In the morning he was found senseless. His fright was followed by a long illness, but no persuasion could ever induce him to tell what he had seen. The Dun Cow in spite of this equivocal reputation had the advantage of possessing a large and commodious barn, and here companies of strolling players ranted on improvised boards, and unlocked the source of pity and of terror in the breasts of our venerable grandmothers.”
(The Dun Cow pub was not a figment of Alfred Scrivener’s imagination. It appears in documentary evidence in Nuneaton’s historic records. It is shown on the 1841 census, and is mentioned in documentation related to the construction of the London & North Western Railway’s new line through Nuneaton in the 1840’s. The location today can be found as you leave Nuneaton railway station and a few yards on the left is Regent Street. You have the Dunelm store to your right of the road. On the left you are looking at the rear of Blockbusters Video Store etc. In the middle of the entrance to Regent Street was where the Dun Cow pub stood. It was pulled down when they altered the roadway to build the railway. Regent Street did not exist before 1840. The road we now know as Regent Street is roughly where it was prior to 1840 until it gets to where the entrance to the car park is next to Dunelms store. Then the roadway did a dog leg and instead of going straight on to Bond Street, went across to where Weddington Terrace is by cutting diagonally through the site of the railway line. The engineers who built the railway decided that to get their alignment they needed to alter the road and bring it alongside the railway on the town side and let all traffic from Bond Street into Old Hinckley Road cross the railway by a level crossing. This resulted in several buildings including the Dun Cow and another strange property known as “Sparrow Hall” being demolished. I have heard tell that Sparrow Hall was not a “Hall” in the mansion house sense but a “nick-name” for a diminutive old-fashioned cottage of great age and antiquity. (Maybe 12th or 13th century?). This too appears in old papers related to Nuneaton and there are descendents of its former inhabitants – the Wagstaff family – still alive today. Regent Street as we know it now was formerly called Derby Lane from the section where Leicester Road Bridge cuts across it to where Weddington Terrace is. The reason it was called Derby Lane was because if you headed along it out of town, and walked for forty miles or so you ended up in Derby. The bit of Regent Street between the Leicester Road Bridge and Wheat Street was known as Brick Kiln Lane because there was a brick yard there which stretched back roughly where Atacks billiard hall is and across the bed of the Tent Valley Railway. (The brickyard belonged to a family called Hincks who also owned the flourmill in Mill Walk)
For many years after the destruction of Horestone Grange the ghost of “Lord Hop” was seen to manifest himself on anyone brave enough to wander abroad in the unlit winter nights around Horestone Grange. Residents were scared stiff by these hauntings. The Vicar of Nuneaton was called in and asked to put his spirit to rest in an act of exorcism. The tale has it that the ghastly apport was exorcised into a bottle. The cork pushed in and the bottle was flung into a deep abandoned waterlogged clay pit, which then occupied the corner of Wheat Street and Regent Street (opposite North Warwickshire House). This area of the town at the time was not built on. It was much altered when the railway cut through. In those days there were a number of clay pits and brick kilns along the track of the railway but the earthworks were used to fill them in and the old brick kilns and cottages pulled down to make way for the new rails. A remnant of one of these old clay pits, a scattered remnant of Hincks brickyard, can be found in the cemetery in Oaston Road where wreaths are laid in a sunken area.
In the 1841 census Oaston Road is known as Odd’a’Ways Lane. Who Odd’a’way was I am not entirely certain although it is more than likely a reference to someone who occupied Horestone Grange in the 18th century. Possibly Lord Hop himself or one of his more tenants.
Early in the 1800’s one very hot summer, the contents of Lord Hop’s pit almost completely dried out. Someone peering over the edge spotted a mud-covered bottle and extracted it from the pit. Curious to see what it once held and not being familiar with the tale of the exorcism, the finder pulled out the cork. There was a terrifying whooshing sound and once again the apport of Lord Hop was at large in the lanes of the area. It made itself a particular nuisance to the regulars the very old inn, “The Dun Cow”.
From that time forward little has been heard of Lord Hop although there is no reason to think he does not appear from time to time on a quiet pitch-black night in the fringes of countryside between the Eastern Relief Road and the top of Wheat Street.
The Ghost at the Crown Hotel
The old Crown Inn on the left. The Railway Tavern to the right (which is still very much unchanged today) Pub ghosts are common phenomena. There are several reputedly haunted pubs in Nuneaton. I suppose it is logical to assume that pubs had been in life and death a powerful attraction for their regular customers and staff. Perhaps old licensees and customers felt the need to re-visit the place they found so much pleasure in.
There is not a great deal to tell about the ghost at the Crown (now Lloyds) other than various bar staff have been aware of a ghostly presence here, and I have had reports of it. The pub there now (Lloyds) replaced an earlier Georgian building, which went by the name of the Crown for over one hundred years. There used to a yard at the back full of old cottages known as “Crown Yard”. We do not know whether the ghost is male or female so we wait to hear more of it in due course. The ghost has been seen in recent years in the new pub. It may have manifested itself on this collection of buildings previously but records are entirely silent on the subject. We only have eyewitness accounts of former bar staff.
The Printing Works Ghost in Bond Gate
What was once the printing works of the Observer Press in Bond Gate was originally the Zion Chapel. The chapel built in 1818/1819 by a local landowner and ribbon manufacturer George Stowe Several chapels for non-conformist denominations were built in the town in the 19th century. The chapel-goers here joined up with those who attended the Congregational church about 1900 when a new church was erected on the corner of Chapel Street and Coton Road. The replacement still stands.
After the merger the chapel building together with the Manse at the front was put to other uses. By the 1920’s it had become a printing works. The first, I believe, used by the Observer and later the Newdigate Press. The late Phillip Vernon often phoned me to tell me tales of old Nuneaton and one of these was that he helped his dad in the printing works his family part owned here in the Zion Chapel. Printing presses were set up in the main body of the church. Sometimes if the company had a rush job on or an extra large print run they returned after tea to work into the late evening. It was on these occasions that a loud footfall could be heard on the wooden steps, which led up to the church hall from the entrance. Anyone who went out to investigate whether there was someone there commented on the deathly chill they encountered on the stairs. There was no one there of course. The ghost was never seen, just heard.
The Bull’s Head
Abbey Street A former landlord told me that on one occasion when locking up at night an old lady was seen in the bar. Dressed in the style of grandmothers during the reign of Queen Victoria. She looked solid but after a few seconds walked out through the wall. The Bulls Head is one of the traditional old pubs of Abbey Street. There used to be a narrow alleyway along side it known as the Bull’s Head Passage. This was surrounded by a tall brown brick wall with blue brick copings on top and provided a short cut from Abbey Street through to Queens Road.
A well known view of Abbey Street. The Bull’s Head in is on the right past the block of white painted buildings with the tall gable end behind a lamp post.
The Albion Buildings
(Formerly Albion Street)
The Albion Buildings date back to the last gasp of the silk trade. About 1840. They were a row of silk weavers cottages three storeys high with a tall row of windows in the upper story known as a “Top Shop” where ribbon weavers looms were hooked up to a long iron shaft with belts. The machinery was driven by a steam engine at one end. It is said that a ghostly old lady has been seen here on and off over the years but no one knows who it is. Chances are it is one of the old silk weavers who used to live here. A lady told me recently that the old lady was a kindly spirit but rather mischievous for turning lights on and off, as well as fiddling with the office equipment in the offices which make up the old Albion buildings today. The largest manufacturer in America today, of silk clothing labels, Warner’s of New Jersey stems from the Albion Buildings where Joseph Warner of Attleborough was the foreman for Leakes who were silk manufacturers there in the 19th century.
Nuneaton and district c. 1862
The Attleborough Recluse
“Teddy Kem” was a legendary figure in Attleborough. Research has shown that he might be the original of George Eliot’s “Silas Marner”. There is no question that Teddy Kem was a real person who did live on Kem’s Farm at Attleborough. A farm better known as “Teddy Kem’s Heaven” was located near to Sterling Metal’s factory on open fields. An old stonecutters shed near the Dumble Holes quarry was the original farmhouse. The Kem family involvement here dated back to the 1770’s when Joseph Kem lived on the farm. He died in 1779 and Edward Kem (1720’s?-1800), Another Kem probably his son, appears to have taken over. In addition to keeping a few animals on his farm he was also a skilled linen weaver with weaving equipment in his farmhouse.
His strange appearance and dishevelled clothing tied together with hay-bands meant that his occasional and un-expected visits to Attleborough village and Nuneaton market frightened our impressionable ancestors. Gossip about him, including his miserly ways, hoarding gold coins in various places about his farm, were rife in the beer houses on Attleborough Green and Nuneaton town. He had a winter cottage in what is now “Kem Street” which he used when he corralled his animals in the pinfold on Attleborough Green during the winter.
Legend has it that his ghost manifests itself about midnight on New Years Eve and I have heard its appearance spoken about by one old Attleborough resident who has seen it. No mention of Teddy Kem would be complete without mentioning the extraordinary amount of research carried out by Nuneaton Society member, Alan Cook on the Kem family.
The Rose Inn, Chilvers Coton
There are stories of the ghost of a little girl being seen in the ladies toilet of the Rose Inn on Coton Road. I cannot tell you more but will tell you a funny story told to me by my Dad, Walter Lee, (1913-1986) whose local in the 1930’s was the Rose Inn when he lived in Harold Street. One day the local “knacker” or horse-slaughterer “Cutter Moreton” rolled up at the Rose and stopped for a drink. “Cutter” was a well-known “rough diamond” character that did a brisk trade in re-cycling dead horses into “oss” meat and maggots in a tin shed in Glebe Lane off Hinckley Road. (Where North Warwickshire & Hinckley College is now situated). I guess he had located his business premises there so as not to fall foul of the local authorities for giving off the noxious smell of putrefying flesh within the precincts of the town. On this occasion “Cutter” had parked a horse and cart with an extremely dead member of the same species lying stiff, cold and smelly on the back of the cart. Some wag at the bar chided “Cutter” by saying the horse doing the pulling was in a worse state than the dead animal on the cart. “Cutter” took umbrage over this and the unsuspecting wag was bombarded with abuse and lurid oaths. Obviously “Cutter” felt more about his animals than outward appearance would suggest.
The Hare & Hounds, Chilvers Coton
The “Hare and Hounds” is a funny pub, set off the main Heath End Road in a little lane used to be called Bowed Lane , Heath End, Chilvers Coton. There are reports of ghostly sightings here as well but no specific details to hand.
The Cycling Ghosts of Weddington
David French who wrote “I was born and raised in Nuneaton and left in 1965 when I was 21 emailed this story to me. I saw three ghosts, men riding old-fashioned bicycles. I was with four of my friends at the time and three also saw them. We were still in high school and about 14 years old. We were passing a churchyard in Weddington on our way from scrumping apples in Caldecote. The ghosts were about 20 feet or more in the air just riding along. Has anyone else had a similar experience in Weddington.”
This is a remarkable sighting never having heard of either cycling ghosts – particularly ghosts at a great height above ground level.
The Wraith of Weddington Grove This story appeared in the Nuneaton Chronicle in 1919 and the editor said a very respectable businessman in Nuneaton, in good faith, gave it to him and it was published without responsibility on the editor’s part. The businessman was a keen fisherman and often went out on lone fishing visits to streams in the area. During a very hot day in August 1919 he walked out through Weddington and Caldecote to the Leicestershire borderlands where he dabbled in his favourite pastime.
Needing some refreshment after his hot and tiring labours he took a drink “at an honest Leicestershire Ale House”. (The Red Gate perhaps?) He then started to walk back to Nuneaton through Caldecote, but stopped to rest against a stout oak post whilst sitting on a patch of dry grass to recover from his exertions before the final leg of his journey home. He seemed to doze off but after a little while woke with a jolt to find himself in the presence of what he described as “Two very odd fish”. “One was a bald headed lantern jawed individual, with a close cropped grey beard, wearing a black doublet, knee breaches, and a wide linen ruff about his neck. The other man was standing on the opposite side of the gate, and beyond the fact that he wore a pair of leather breeches and a countenance of abnormal gravity. I was not able to size him up with that particularity which is very properly demanded from those who project themselves into the journalistic limelight.”
Recovering his composure somewhat and thinking that he must be in the presence of someone returning from a fancy dress party in town he thought it must be very late and said politely to the character in the ruff:
“Pardon me, can you tell me what the time is?”
“Thou hast no cause to ask my pardon. Time and I are no longer partners – and to the belly god of his raging lust for strong liquor, eternity cannot satisfy his appetite.”
“Well spoken brother Burton: until tomorrow night, farewell!”
Our writer looked towards where the other character had been standing but to his shock he had vanished completely. Deciding to pull himself together, and as he was still in the presence of one of the characters he enquired:
“Your friend” said I, is a particularly hefty speed merchant; would it be troubling you too much to tell me his name?”
“His name is George Fox, of near-by Drayton. He has no love for those who convert day into night at tippling feasts.”
From his newfound companion who appeared as real as you and I he learned that he was talking to a Mr. Burton of Linley!
George Fox (1624-1690) born of a pious family, was founder of the Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers.
Robert Burton of Lindley (1577-1640) English, Scholar, writer and Anglican Clergyman wrote a famous book: “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. The Lindley estate once encompassed the village of Fenny Drayton and the nearby Royal Red Gate Inn. (Why the ROYAL Red Gate? – because Queen Adelaide is thought to have stopped there as she travelled from Warwick Castle to Gopsall Hall in Leicestershire in the 1830’s. The purpose of her visits to the Red Gate – to visit the bathroom – hence the Royal in Royal Red Gate!) Weddington Hall
Weddington Hall stood in Castle Road, Weddington. It was more often called Weddington Castle but was not a castle at all. It had been castellated in the popular taste of the day by a Georgian architect – Robert Lugar (1773-1855)– for the new owner of the estate in 1807/8 – Lionel Place. ( -1845)The former Elizabethan mansion (whose deeds stretch back to 1591) set in beautiful parkland and gardens covering 350 acres, which dropped down to the River Anker, was encapsulated within an outer casing of sandstone and enlarged. Throughout its life it passed through several family ownerships but by 1916 it had become a hospital for British soldiers sent home from the trenches to be rehabilitated. Neglect and the 1920’s destruction of many of the estates that surrounded the growing towns and villages of England meant that the grounds were ripe for re-development and in 1928 it was unceremoniously pulled down for housing development. There are numerous reports of ghosts seen in the house and grounds but their identities are unknown at present.
(Amongst Robert Lugar’s other commissions was Balloch Castle in Scotland (1809);
Cyfartha Castle, near Merthyr Tydfil, (1825); Newlaithes Hall, Horsforth, Yorkshire, (c.1828); Betteshanger House, Sandwich, Kent (1829)
The Ghost at the Griffin Inn The Griffin Inn at Griff is a remarkable historic pub. It is a superb relic of the old days of Griff and Chilvers Coton when pubs such as this were the centres of village life. The workingman’s parlour. It was given a victualling license in 1654 in order to supply that indispensable provider of healthy nourishment, ale, for the miners in the shallow bell pits and diggings around this ancient mining community. It carried on doing this for the next three hundred years. I can remember it when Harold Day kept it and it featured some odd curiosities. My old friend the late local historian Fred Phillips used to drink in there at one time and a game of dominoes often meant that his valuable pint of beer had to be parked elsewhere as the tables were too small with all that shuffling and assembling of dominoes into player’s corners to play the game. Beer was parked on the floor, on the bench next to him, or wherever he could put it out of harms way. Fred said words to the effect to Harold. “You could do with a shelf here just next to my arm to park my beer on.” Harold said. “If you want one you can fit it yourself” and Fred did, and that shelf was there for years until it was altered in more recent years.
Another amusing story relates to the old bus proprietor Monty Moreton whose motley collection of buses traversed Attleborough, Caldwell, Bramcote and Wolvey, who used to frequent the Griff. Monty complained one day that he could never find anywhere to sit in the bar, so Harold (I assume) said, “Well bring your own seat in” and he did, an old bus seat! And that old seat was in the bar for years.
Poor old Harold’s gone now and the Griffin has been altered with a posh bar, and a restaurant, but it still has a lot of old character left.
I was not surprised, therefore, when I read a story in a local newspaper in 1995 that a ghost had been seen in the pub. The licensee at the time was wakened from his slumbers by his dog barking furiously. As he aroused himself he saw in the shadows of the room a tall figure of a woman wearing some kind of veil over her face. He found himself immediately awakened by this appararition and stared at it for ten seconds not knowing who or what it was, lunged for the light thinking it was an intruder. As soon as he switched the light on it disappeared.
This was the first time the licensee had seen the ghost that has haunted the Griff for years. There had been mysterious bangs and knockings, in the cellar compressed air cylinders and beer taps turned off. A previous landlord and his partner had witnessed an old lady in black sitting on the end of their bed.
The installation of a “state of the art” alarm system did not seem to disturb the appararition. There was a collection of old locks on a shelf in the lounge, which he became accustomed to finding scattered over the floor in the morning. On one occasion a one armed bandit that was switched off at the mains spewed out £70 in tokens as the landlady watched.
The licensee found the atmosphere so oppressive in the pub lounge at times that he could not stay in there, and he gave up going down into the cellar last thing at night because of fright.
The ghost by general consensus seems to be a lady in Victorian dress but who she is has never been discovered.
I am grateful to Karl Chadwick of Nuneaton bringing to my attention information from a site on the Internet where ghostly incidents are reported. The ghost of Lady Jane Grey whose family once owned the 13th century castle at Astley is well known. Since it was badly damaged by fire in the 1970’s the ruins of the Castle have stood gaunt and lonely in the rural hamlet of Astley and I guess the ghost is still abroad cut off and unseen from mortal’s prying eyes. A jogger who used the phone box at Astley talks of a ghostly presence in and near the phone box. The box itself filled with a deathly chill and unseen footsteps of an unseen entity passed the phone box four times. Needless to say the jogger and his companion legged it back to Nuneaton as quick as their shaking pins could carry them!