RICHARD MOODY reports on The Tamworth Ghost Hunters’ investigation of Leicestershire’s Grace Dieu Priory for paranormal activity
The Grace Dieu Priory was an Augustinian priory near Thringstone in Leicestershire, England. It was founded around 1235-1241 by Roesia de Verdon and dissolved in October in 1538. It was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St Mary.
By 1377 the priory had 16 nuns, with a hospital for 12 poor people attached. The account book of Grace Dieu for 1414-1418 survives in the Public Record office.
In 1538 the priory was dissolved and one of the commissioners a John Beaumont of Thringstone who closed the priory took advantage by buying Grace Deiu at his own valuation and converted part of the priory into a country residence. The ruins are mostly from this period when the priory was rebuilt in Tudor times. In 1550 Beaumont became Master of the Rolls at the Treasury, but he abused his position for personal gain and in 1552 his estates were surrended to the King.
In 1696 the greater parts of the buildings were pulled down by Sir Ambrose Phillipps and the ruins we have left today are all that remain of the Tudor house and earlier Priory.
These ruins are said to be the most haunted place in all of Leicestershire. There is a phantom “white lady” that floats around the ruins and one such time a bus driver and conductor actually stopped to pick up what they believed to be a passenger and were pretty frightened when they opened the door to let her in only to find she has disappeared into thin air.
A police officer passing by Grace Dieu Priory saw a woman in grey, with a hood, cross the road and a council man working at the priory felt a woman leaning over him and he was pushed harshly from behind, but no one was there.
It is believed that one of the women haunting the Priory is Agnes Litherland who was the Prioress of Grace Dieu in 1530. She had a child out of wedlock and so the child was cruely drowned in the lake and Agnes was walled up inside the priory as punishment. Most people believe there are multiple female ghosts that haunt the ruins, but a few believe it is the same woman. Whatever the case, be it one ghost or five, there is a lot of ghostly activity and it is worth a visit.
There have been sightings of ghosts at this location and the surrounding woods so we went to see for ourselves. We first contacted the owners to see if they would give us permission to visit the location at night but unfortunately they declined. They would only give us permission for a fee. Unfortunately we have a policy where we do not pay or charge for our investigations however the location is open during the day to members of the public free of charge. We decided to do our investigation during the daylight hours and informed the owners of the dates and times of our visits.
We also invited them along on the investigation but unfortunately they declined
On day one of the investigation, one team member, Richard Moody took photographs, video footage and used the ghost box at the location. The ghost box is based on the “white noise” theory, however the the ghost box sessions were not recorded.
I started my investigation by a brook, near a statue of a Roesia de Verdon which is opposite the Grace Dieu Priory. Two voices came through on the ghost box – two Irish ladies, who seemed to be aware of my presence.
I decided to ask them some questions and so I started with “How many of there are you?” The reply I got was “two”. I then asked them if they could see me, to which they replied “no”. I asked them if they could see the Priory and they answered “yes”. I asked a few more questions to which I received no response.
‘They could hear me (at Grace Dieu Priory) but not see me or interact with any of my equipment)
The conclusion I came to is they could hear me but not see me or interact with any of my equipment.
I then ventured into Grace Dieu Priory itself. I wandered around for a while, however the layout of the buildings didn’t make any sense to me until I came across a plaque on the wall. This explained the phases of the building being altered from the Priory to a private dwelling. When I was in and around the buildings, with the ghost box turned on, I asked how many spirits were there. The answer I got was constantly “eight” regardless of where I was within the ruins.
Finally I went to the kitchens where there seemed to be a little girl who sounded about eight or nine. She was very interesting as she could see me, hear me, and most importantly, interact with me and the equipment. She also seemed aware of her surroundings. I spent about 15 minutes talking to her when we got interrupted by someone walking their dog and she did not communicate with me after that.
Some of the questions I asked “Can you see me?”, “yes”she replied. The next question I asked was “how old are you?”, “nine” came the answer and another voice said “no she’s eight” then she giggled. “Did you die here?” was my next question “not dead” was the reply. I have found this is not unusual for them to say that they are not dead, in fact, it is quite common. I reached in my bag and took out my K2 meter and set it up. I then asked the question “can you see the light?” the reply I got from the little girl was “yes” then my next question was can you walk towards it “yes” – lights on the K2 meter flickered. At this point I think they must’ve got bored with me because I asked them questions and didn’t get any answers at all. I then said “you play tricks on people who come here” and a voice said “sometimes”. This was not the little girl or her friend. Then I asked can people see you? “sometimes”and another voice said ”play hide and seek” I think I must’ve spoken to about five or six on that day
Unfortunately, a dog came wandering down followed by its owner, so I waited for them to go, but the little girl and her companions did not communicate again.
On the third day I sat down in the kitchen and explained that this was my last day and I probably would not be coming back. I thanked them for their time and their communication. I switched on the ghost box however before I could switch on the digital recorder they told me to f*** off then you fu**ing C*** and that’s all the communication I had after spending 5 hours there!! All I had in three days was one spike on the K2 meter, excellent results from the ghost box and a photo.
Now, having been through the evidence, these are some of the questions I asked myself:
“Do I think that anything is there?” – The answer is yes.
“Do I think it can communicate?” – The answer is yes.
“Do I believe they can be seen?” – The answer is yes.
“Would I go back and do another investigation?” I would love to go back at night and do an investigation with the permission of the owners.
This article contains only day one and day three of the three day investigation.
Here is a video of the investigation. You can hear the voices clearly from the ghost box.
A regular series of guided walks and ghost walks take place throughout the year for a small charge .Open daily, including bank holidays. Admission is free.