NIA JONES tells us of the grim and spooky history of Plas Teg Hall, the most famous haunted house in North Wales….
The Plas Teg estate (The Fair Mansion) is a stunning Jacobean three-storey structure situated on the A541 in Pontblyddyn near Mold in Flintshire. Sir John Trevor built Plas Teg in approximately 1610; the mansion remained in his family until the end of the 18th century when it was bequeathed to a cousin – after that time they used the last name Trevor-Roper. The mansion remained with the Trevor-Ropers until the Second World War, but sadly the heir to the estate, Richard Trevor-Roper, was killed in action. A descendant of the former owners, P.D Trevor-Roper decided to purchase it in the 1950s, however, it has since been sold out of the family.
Overlooking the beautiful Afon Alun (River Alyn), the mansion itself is full intrigue; the grand timber staircase is believed to have been crafted from a Spanish Armada ship, there is a sofa that was allegedly a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte and Rhuben paintings deported from Italy. But what is most eerie is that the stone fireplace holds pentagram markings; no one is sure when or why the markings were made, but some believe they are to stop evil from entering the house down the chimney. Plas Teg also acted as a Masonic Lodge until 1838, so the markings could be symbolic of Freemasonry rather than witchcraft.
The majority of the property is said to have paranormal activity in abundance, there have been tales of hauntings, apparitions of women, men, children and even animals. Disembodied arguing, screaming and crying has been heard on the landing and on the timber staircase, and numerous sightings of a grey lady holding a candle.
But the Regency Room is believed to be the most active with an overall eerie and oppressive atmosphere. The 5th Sir John Trevor is thought to haunt the room, dogs behave oddly and run out whining and yelping, visitors have reported being grabbed, pinched, hugged and even their clothes pulled on.
The ghost of the infamous “Hanging Judge Jeffries” is said to still preside at Plas Teg – he gained his nickname because of the punishment he handed out at the trials of the supporters of the Duke of Monmouth. He was born in Wrexham in 1648, married into the family and also lived at Plas Teg for a time – holding court sessions in the dining room; if the accused was found guilty they were taken into the next room and hanged immediately.
Ghosts in Plas Teg Hall ‘stretch their wings’
The ghosts have also been known to stretch their wings (?!) and wander out on to the A541 where the road cuts through the former driveway. Over the years hundreds of calls to the police from terrified drivers have been recorded, mostly reporting that they have swerved to avoid a woman standing in the road, some believe they have actually hit her. On second inspection, of course, there is no woman near or under the car.
This apparition is believed to be that of Dorothy Trevor, a 16-year-old heiress, daughter of the 1st Sir John Trevor. Dorothy fell in love with a local farmer’s son Iorwerth, her family strongly disapproved so the pair decided to run away and elope. Dorothy then took her jewels and buried them in a box near a well, on the night Dorothy and Iorwerth pre-arranged to meet, she went to retrieve her buried box, but sadly lost her footing; falling into the well and drowning. Thinking she had stood him up Iorwerth hung himself in grief, the ghosts of Dorothy and Iorwerth are said to be have been seen wandering the grounds, looking for one another.
It is alleged another resident threw herself down the same well in 1815; Elizabeth Frances Trevor-Roper killed herself after her favourite suitor was killed in a duel and she refused to submit to the victor. Many people have reported sounds of phantom screaming and weeping throughout the mansion, and some have seen a female figure running through the grounds clutching what seems to be a box; pursued by a man with a gaping wound on his shoulder.
Previous tenants have been maliciously and accidentally killed at Plas Teg over the years and at least two males have committed suicide in the woods on the grounds, there is even a legend of a father suffocating his little children in one of the bedrooms.
So it is no wonder that the walls of Plas Teg have plenty to tell us about its egregious past, and former residents leave only in body; wishing to avenge their tragic final breaths.