Bramall Hall in Stockport, Greater Manchester has a long history of ghosts and legends that haunt the Tudor mansion to this day, says RICK HALE
Belief in the fairy folk of legend and lore still runs deep in many parts of the United Kingdom, including Greater Manchester, and its beautiful Tudor home, Bramall Hall.
According to legend, the Grade I listed Tudor style house based in Cheshire is not in the spot where the builders had intended over six centuries ago.
Night after night, not long after the sun dipped below the horizon, the little people moved the foundations of Bramall Hall stone by stone.
The builders became to exasperated by the intrusion of the little people, they decided to just finish the house where the fairy wanted it.
It has been many many years since a fairy has been seen around Bramall Hall, however fairies aren’t the only supernatural beings to be found at Bramall.
This ancient building has many ghosts making it an exceptionally haunted house. And an exceptionally frightening place.
History of Bramall Hall
For a more historically-accepted story of how Bramall Hall came to be, the home can trace its beginning to Anglo-Saxon England.
The home was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, when the powerful Massey family was the lords of the manor.
When the Masseys left, the home fell into the possession of the Davenport family who built the lavish house we see today.
When the Davenports could no longer manage the house they sold it to the Manchester Freeholder’s Company, along with its 50 acres of land.
The 20th century saw a few different owners, first were the wealthy industrialist Nevill family.
And later, John Henry Davies, a brewer and owner of the football team Newton Heath. These days you know them as the wildly popular Manchester United.
Finally in 1974, Bramall Hall ended its long streak of private ownership when it was purchased by the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
When the SMBC acquired the sprawling house a spokesman had this to say, “The most prestigious and historically significant building in the Conservation Area”.
If you were to visit Bramall Hall you would more than likely agree with the sentiment.
And the feature that really drives its historical significance home, Bramall Hall is extraordinarily haunted.
The Red Rider
The first ghost we’ll take a look at in this historic home is the apparition known as the Red Rider.
No one can say with any certainty who this Rider was in life, but as the story goes, a horseman clad in a scarlet cape paid a visit to Bramall sometime in the 1630s.
The master of the house at that time was William Davenport, a generous man who could never turn away a person in need. To him, such a thing would be unthinkable.
Sadly, his reputation of kindness was spit on when after providing the red clad stranger a meal he attacked and murdered his host.
With the act done, the red rider mounted his horse and was never seen again. Well, not in the physical sense anyways.
Since that treacherous betrayal of his Lordship’s good nature, the ghostly form of the red rider is seen on New Year’s Eve riding his horse at breakneck speed with his red cape flapping behind him.
When he reaches the house he vanishes only to make his appearance again the following year.
Maid Of Bramall Hall
An old song about Bramall Hall mentions a ghost that has haunted the house for centuries, Alice or the maid of Bramall Hall.
In the song, Alice was earnestly awaiting the love of her life who was supposed to return from a trip to Spain.
Suddenly, Alice’s heart leaped in her chest when she could hear a galloping horse approaching the house.
When she threw open the door, he hopes came crashing down when only the horse could be seen. Her lover was nowhere to be found.
Her hope was shattered even further when she learned that her lover’s battered body was found in Macclesfield woods.
It would seem he was ambushed by a group of cutthroat highwaymen who beat him, robbed him and left him for dead.
Completely devastated by the news, Alice shut herself up in her room where she eventually perished from a broken heart.
Visitors to the Hall have reported encountering the grief stricken apparition of Alice as she moves through the house. Forever grieving the loss of her love.
At night, her wails of anguish can be heard echoing throughout an otherwise quiet house.
The Ghost Room
A room in Bramall Hall is believed to be so terribly haunted that it earned the nickname, “The Ghost room”.
It is believed to be haunted by Dame Dorothy Davenport, wife of William, the man who met his fate at the hands of the red rider.
People who have stayed in the room have reported a plethora of supernatural activity.
The sounds of rustling skirts are heard on the floor, followed by an intense cold that chills people to the bone.
Several visitors have felt a soft feminine touch on their arms. While at least one unwitting visitor heard a woman’s voice call out, “Hello.” He, of course, was alone at the time.
The shadowy figure of a woman has been witnessed walking slowly through the Plaster Room.
The curious onlooker watches as she walks through the wall emerging in the Withdrawing Room next door.
Since being bought by the Council, Bramall Hall operates as a museum. You can take tours of the house and learn all about the history of this much loved house.
If it’s the outdoors you crave, you can explore the grounds known as Bramall Park and wander through the adjacent woods.
Whether or not it’s ghosts you seek, a visit to this lovely Tudor style house is well worth the visit and can be enjoyed by all.
Have you seen any of these spectres and apparitions at Bramall Hall? Tell us about it in the comments section!