Bruce Castle in Tottenham, North London, has been haunted by a ghostly lady with a dark secret for hundreds of years…
The Royal residences of the British monarchy in London are well documented. But in the heart of Tottenham, North London, the ex-residence of the King of Scotland might take you by surprise.
The 16th century residence known as Bruce Castle, formerly known as ‘Lordship House’, isn’t actually a castle, but a large manor house nestled away in the greenery of urban London. Despite its serene setting, however, the castle holds many dark secrets that have given birth to ghostly sightings and reports of paranormal activity.
In 1254, part of the land belonged to the ‘de Bruce’ family of Scotland, but during the medieval period, a much older structure once stood on, or near, the grounds of the current residence. It’s hard to tell what the older structure looked like, as all traces of it are now lost to the ages, but it would still have been a domineering building, and a testament to the influence of the Bruce family.
In more recent times, during the 19th century the residence was turned into a school, with Sir Rowland Hill as headteacher, who was accredited with the invention of the postage stamp.
What stands today however, is an enchanting manor house that draws in thousands of tourists each year who come to learn about its history, but after the tourists leave, Bruce Castle comes alive with many stories of the paranormal.
The Story of Lady Constantina Lucy
Bruce Castle was at one time the residence of Lady Constantina Lucy, who was married to Henry Hare, 2nd Lord Coleraine. Henry’s father died while choking on a turkey bone, leaving Henry and his wife to inherit the castle.
The marriage grew stale and hostile, and after becoming irritated by the presence of his wife, he had her locked away at the top of the residence. After a while longer, he became completely resentful of his wife, and instead had her locked away in a much smaller room under the clock tower. It was even rumoured that Henry was in love with the Duchess of Somerset, and saw Constantina as a mere obstacle in the way of true love.
The marriage doesn’t appear to have been completely fruitless however, as the two had a son together, named Hugh.
Understandably, Constantina grew resentful of her husband, and sought any way out of the marriage she had found herself a hostage to. Desperate times called for desperate measures. She had been driven mad by the unrelenting ticking of the large clock.
The story behind the demise of Lady Constantina Lucy isn’t clear, but it’s widely speculated that she had jumped from the balcony holding onto her child, killing them both. Her screams were said to have awoken the servants that were sleeping. As they ran outside to see where the screams had come from, they found her lifeless body on the floor below the clock tower.
All the evidence pointed to the death of Lady Constantina Lucy as being an act of suicide. However, the plot thickens. Around the same time that Constantina died, the Duchess of Somerset also became a widow, and she and Henry married a short time after.
Though there are no official records relating to the death of Constantina, it’s thought that she was buried in All Hallow Church.
Hauntings of Bruce Castle
The ghost of a lady is often seen wandering the grounds of Bruce Castle Park. It’s believed that the ghost is that of Lady Constantina Lucy.
The first ghost sighting of Constantina was recorded in a newspaper article that was published in March 1858. It’s said that her ghost can be seen around the time of November 3rd, which is believed to be the anniversary of her death.
Some visitors have even claimed to have seen the Ghost of Constantina staring out of the window.
Bruce Castle is now open to tourists as a museum and archive, and guests are able to take a guided tour around the house. Visitors are free to enter the castle without having to pay an admission fee.
Bruce Castle also hosts weddings, corporate events, and rooms to hire. It also showcases an exhibition dedicated to Beatrice Offer, a local born artist.
A visit to the castle is highly recommended if you ever get the chance.
Have you seen a ghost at Bruce Castle? If so, please tell us about it in the comments below!