Spirits from throughout history continue to roam Hermeston Hall, one of Nottinghamshire’s most enigmatic manors, writes RICK HALE
If you’ve ever seen the American sports coming of age film, The Sandlot, you may remember hearing Have Ruth’s quote to Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, legends never die.”
I’ve always loved that quote and no where does that apply more than the heroism of the legend of Robin Hood, who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor in the forests of Nottingham.
It’s believed that this hero may not have actually existed, but there is a legendary place in Nottinghamshire that has come to be known as one of the most haunted buildings in the region, Hermeston Hall.
An old country manor house near the villages of Oldcoates and Langold, where the dead from every era of Britain’s long history still walk.
History Of Hermeston Hall
Like so many other buildings across Britain, Hermeston Hall was built over a much older manor house that was built sometime around 1100 CE.
The original house was built for the powerful Cress family who proudly ruled the house for over three centuries. Their tenancy finally came to an end in 1408.
However the land where that house was built is believed to date much further back to a time when the Roman empire dominated the region.
Researchers came to this conclusion after discovering a Roman road that ran nearby was discovered. As well as the remains of a Roman villa being discovered entirely by accident.
The properties most notable resident was none other than, Elizabeth Cavendish, or Bess of Hardwick, a shrewd and exceedingly powerful woman who through wise business moves and marriages earned her the title, Countess Of Shrewsbury.
Following the violent conflict between those loyal to the king and parliament, the house fell into decline and was abandoned. Sitting as a silent reminder to a long and illustrious history.
Thankfully the house was resurrected from the dead when Edward Challenor purchased the building.
Challoner brought it back from the dead and expanded it. When he passed his oldest daughter took over and gave us the house we see today.
The Haunting Of Hermeston Hall
With such a long history it’s no wonder that Hermeston Hall has gained a reputation for being haunted.
For many years the locals, except for a few adventurous souls, have ignored the house. Its reputation for hauntings have become so well known, the locals have dubbed it, “the ghost house.”
And according to those brave enough to enter the threshold, the house truly lives up to its reputation.
Occupation From Beyond The Grave
By 400 CE, Roman influence across Britain began to fade, because across the continent back in Rome, the city was under attack by the various European tribes and soldiers were desperately needed back home to defend their land.
So by 410, Romans were all but gone from Britain. Although the soldiers were gone, those who fell in battle still remained as phantoms, forever haunting the land.
A ghostly legion of Roman soldiers have been seen marching in column along the Hall’s driveway.
And strangely enough, the same legion has been spied in the cellar where they walk through the wall and vanish from view.
The ghosts of servants from various times in the Hall’s history are said to still be carrying out their duties long after their deaths.
Gardeners who see to the care of the grounds have reported a ghostly gardener standing behind them closely scrutinizing every move they make.
When they go to enquire why he’s there the phantom gardener disappears
And servants in Victorian era clothes are seen busying themselves in the corridors and rooms of the house.
Attics are typically not the most inviting places. They’re hot, cramped and dirty. But Hermiston Hall has something most attics don’t, a very angry ghost.
The ghost of an angry old woman haunts the attic.
If a person goes into her domain, she’s known to run from the shadows screaming in people’s faces before vanishing.
Any ghost hunter will tell you that any haunting where a child is involved is always sad. These kids didn’t get the luxury of living a full life. And Hermeston Hall has no shortage of ghostly children.
The images of children are regularly seen and felt playing on the stairs and running through the corridors. Laughing and talking as they race around the Hall.
A little girl in Victorian era clothes is seen in the kitchen. And a toddler will suddenly appear at the piano and begin pounding the keys
Pretty much all the ghosts of Hermiston Hall are nameless. Except for one, Bess of Hardwick.
The ghost of a woman with bright red hair and wearing a black Elizabethan dress is often seen wandering the grounds.
The mysterious woman has been identified as the ambitious socialite, Bess of Hardwick.
It would seem that Bess is still holding court at the country manor she loved so well.
Today Hermeston Hall is a residential home after serving as a hotel for a short time. And it appears to still be haunted, but the owners have embraced their ghosts and live peacefully with them.
Have you been to Hermeston Hall? Tell us about it in the comments section below!