Guest writer CHRIS HALL reveals the ghosts of Berry Pomeroy Castle, a haunted Tudor mansion in South Devon
William the Conqueror had invaded England and defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings, but the country wasn’t ready to submit. A series of uprisings against William had led the country to spiral into anarchy, but alongside one his most trusted Knights Ralf de Pomaria, from La Pommeraye near Falaise, he managed to quash the rebellions and maintain his claim to the crown.
Ralf de Pomaria was rewarded for his loyal service to the Conqueror, by being gifted the manor of Berry, in Devon. The family continued to live in Berry for around 400 years.
The 15th century ruin of Berry Pomeroy Castle is deeply etched into the landscape of Totnes, Devon, and was built around one mile north of Berry by the descendants of the Pomeroy family.
The castle was built during the Wars of the Roses, and the family allied themselves with the Yorkists, which was probably the main reason behind the construction of such an imposing fortress.
The Seymour Influence
Edward Seymour bought the land of Berry Pomeroy from the Pomeroy family in the year 1547. However, after his execution at Tower Hill on 22 January 1552, the castle fell into the hands of his heir. Plans were quickly drawn up to create the most striking house in Devon, within the fortified walls of the castle.
Construction began on the house in 1560, and around 1600, Seymour’s son chose to expand the property, but it was never completed, and the house was left abandoned.
It is now said to be one of the most haunted castles in all of Britain.
The Ghosts of Berry Pomeroy Castle
Visitors and volunteers at the castle have reported a whole range of paranormal occurrences over the years.
These reports include the sighting of the White Lady, who seems to haunt the dungeons as well as St Margaret’s Tower. She is thought to be the ghost of Margaret Pomeroy who was held captive in the dungeon by her sister, Eleanor.
Eleanor was said to be jealous of Margaret’s beauty, and having affections for the same man, she had Margaret removed from the picture, and thrown in the dungeon to endure a slow, painful death. The dungeons can be reached by a spiral stone staircase from the tower.
The Blue Lady is another spirit said to haunt the ruins of the castle. Legend has it that the Blue Lady is the daughter of a Norman lord, who was raped by her own father. She bore her father’s child as a result, and subsequently smothered her child in order to try and relinquish the memories of such a traumatic event. She is now said to roam the castle grounds in anguish.
Another spectral report correlates to the tale of two brothers, who were members of the Pomeroy family. Having made a fateful decision to ally themselves with the losing side in the religious rebellion of 1549, King Edward VI ordered the property to be seized. As the Kings soldiers arrived, they wore their armour, and rode their blindfolded horses over the castles defences to their deaths.
These are just some of the spirits which are said to haunt Berry Pomeroy Castle, but with such a turbulent and dark history, it’s no wonder the castle is now home to various spirits. A visit to the castle is well worth it.
CHRIS Hall is a freelance writer that loves everything relating to the paranormal. Having visited some of the most haunted places in England, he actively follows various podcasts, shows and blogs relating to ghosts and mysteries. Any inquiries can be sent to [email protected]