Brede Place in East Sussex is surrounded by ancient ghosts and mysteries, says RICK HALE
Any paranormal investigator or researcher who has been at this for any length of time all knows one very simple truth, sometimes it’s difficult to work your way around an alleged haunted location and some half baked legend too get to the truth.
I know that I myself have been sadly taken in by either legends that can’t be verified or outright lies. This I freely admit.
This is why we have to be ever vigilant and practice discernment when investigating a haunting.
Brede Place in East Sussex is one of these places where both legends and hauntings collide.
Is this lovely country manor house truly haunted? Or is it all just bunk? I’ll allow you to judge for yourself.
Brede Place, a grade II listed house just outside Rye, East Sussex, was built sometime in the 14th century by Edward III and his knights.
A century later, the Oxenbridge family took over the house and Sir Robert spared no expense in rebuilding the house and expanding it.
Whether or not Robert knew of the illicit activities that happened in the building or not, smugglers took over the building and used it as a base of operations.
With the house’s close proximity to the shore of the English Channel, it was a perfect place for smugglers to hide the goods they brought in from France.
At the height of this criminal enterprise, Robert’s son, Goddard was master of Brede Place. And it was with Sir Goddard that Brede Place ‘s longest enduring legend began.
The Giant Of Brede Place
With the prying eyes of the locals scrutinising Brede Place, the smugglers made up an horrific story concerning their host, Sir Goddard Oxenbridge.
Goddard, was a rather large man, both in height and girth and was often seen lumbering around Brede Place.
His appearance was so fearsome, the locals believed the man could be dangerous, perhaps even deadly.
Upon hearing these fears, the smugglers spread the rumour that Sir Goddard had a taste for human flesh, specifically a taste for young children.
Over time, fear turned to hatred and a number of attempts to assassinate the so-called Brede Giant were carried out. Unfortunately, those attempts failed and Goddard only became angrier.
So one night, the locals managed to get Sir Goddard drunk. Which was no easy task for a man of Oxenbridge ‘s size.
When the gigantic man finally passed out, a group of men grabbed a hand saw and cut the giant in half.
Since that fateful and bloody night, the apparition of a large man has been glimpsed lumbering around Brede Place. Undoubtedly searching for those who killed him so long ago.
The Good Father
According to tradition, building the house proved to be too daunting a task for the Knights of King Edward, so a group of monks were contracted to help in constructing Brede Place.
One of those monks, Father John was killed in an unfortunate accident. Now here’s where things get a bit muddy.
Father John, who is said to haunt Brede Place, was allegedly a fabrication of the smugglers.
To them, a cannibalistic giant wasn’t enough to keep away their suspicious neighbors. So they made up a ghost story about a spooky monk. Well, not so fast on the scepticism.
Fast forward to World War II, when Canadian soldiers were stationed at Brede Place to defend the region from the Nazis.
While staying at the house, several soldiers complained of seeing the ghostly figure of a monk floating around the castle.
The servicemen further claimed the ghostly monk had a malicious side and would often throw their personal belongings about their rooms. Father John was a nuisance, but the soldiers learned to live with their ghost.
Yet More Ghosts
The mischievous ghosts of a monk and a hungry giant are not the only ghosts to roam the halls of Brede Place.
The ghost of a young woman in a 16th century maid outfit is seen regularly in the rooms of Brede Place.
The maid named Martha, was hanged for a crime she did not commit and the real guilty party got away
Perhaps this is why Martha still walks the corridors of Brede Place seeking vengeance on those who wronged her.
Lastly, the disturbing apparition of a headless man wanders the grounds surrounding Brede Place.
No one knows who he was in life and they really don’t know how he came to be headless.
Although Brede Place is a well-known haunt, it is a private residence and the residents are not keen on ghost hunters traipsing about their home looking for ghosts.
So please, admire from afar and you may just get lucky and see one of its many ghosts.
Have you seen a ghost at Brede House? Tell us about it in the comments section below!