It is said to be one of the country’s most haunted castles, but
Muncaster Castle may soon have another reason to be on the tourist
archaeological work suggests the site of Muncaster Castle near Ravenglass
in Cumbria, may once have been the location for a large Roman fort
to rival those seen at Chester and Ribchester in Lancashire.
Castle has been home to the Pennington family since 1208. Today,
three generations of Pennington’s share their home with the tourists
who visit daily, and the ghosts which are said to roam the corridors.
in the night
castle needs its ghosts and Muncaster is no exception. Its corridors
echo with footsteps, babies wail at night and for those brave enough,
a night in the Tapestry Room may prove be the worst nights sleep
you'll ever get.
Out introduces you to some of the unearthly residents of Muncaster
fool died around 1600.
created much mischief both dead and alive.
When passerbys would stop at the castle for directions to London, Tom
would point them in the direction of the quicksand rather than the ford.
Tom may have been a jester, but the local carpenter certainly wasn't laughing.
Under the orders of Sir Ferdinand Pennington, Tom chopped the carpenter's
head off as a punishment for falling in love with Helwise, Sir Pennington's
owners of Muncaster, Phyllada and Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington, believe
Tom still keeps a watchful eye on the castle, and occasionally gets up
to more sinister mischief. Most of the ghostly goings on are attributed
to this fiendish fool!
Bragg is one of Muncaster's less well known ghosts, who met with a violent
and untimely end in 1805.
housekeeper in Ravenglass, Mary was in love with the footman at Muncaster.
Unfortunately for Mary, so was one of the housemaids, who was not keen
night, two men called at Mary's, claiming her lover was seriously ill.
Suggesting they take her to his bedside, the men instead led Mary to a
large tree on a lonely road and killed her.
Her body was found some weeks later, floating in the River Esk. Her head
was so badly damaged after being partially eaten by eels, that the coroner
could not say for certain how she died.
ghost of Mary Bragg can often be seen wandering the grounds of Muncaster,
whilst it is claimed that the tree where Mary met with her untimely death
began to bleed as it was cut down.
The Ghosts of the Tapestry
Tapestry Room is the most haunted hot spot in Muncaster Castle. With sombre
paintings adorning the walls and iron fire dog shaped like a devil's head,
visitors often report feeling an unwelcoming presence in the room.
Many who have stayed the night in the foreboding Tapestry Room, report
the sound of babies crying, or children singing softly. Black figures
have been seen leaning over alarmed guests, whilst others have experienced
a heavy weight falling on top of them in the antique four-poster bed.
Investigations revealed that in the Tapestry Room had previously been
a children's nursery. A paranormal investigation team reported seeing
a black, featureless figure walk into the tapestry room and vanish.
sceptical? Muncaster Castle allows guests to spend the night in the Tapestry
Room. But once settled for the night, the alarms are set and there is
no escaping. You have been warned!
there may be a new ghost to add to the impressive list. One which
may have been disturbed by recent digging in and around the castle.
I think it will cause a stir in the archaeological world if
it turns out to be the fort that Clifford believes it to be."|
Davies of English Heritage|
Clifford Jones has been investigating the Roman significance of
the grounds around Muncaster Castle.
believes his excavations may change the Hadrianic boundaries of
the of the area and reveal that Cumbria played a much more significant
role in the Roman Empire than was previously thought.
excavations may not only have unearthed a physical Roman presence
in the area, they may also have unleashed the unearthly presence
of a new ghost.
Cliff unearthed more than he anticipated?|
had been staying in the castle towers one night when he heard someone
chopping wood. Only he and the mistress of the house were in the
went down the stairs to the court yard, all the time hearing the
noise, but when he got there he couldn't see anybody. "Please stop
the noise," he said. And it stopped.
ran back up the stairs. The first room he went into was the toilet.
As he entered the light bulb blew. He went back out on to the landing
and the light bulb blew there. He then went into the lounge and
the bulbs there blew too.
can’t account for it. Muncaster is a magical place with so
many different layers of history. Who am I to refute what’s
happened. I have no explanation for what happened to me."|
was so disturbed by what had happened that he left the castle for
three days before getting the courage to return.
ghosts are good for business at the castle. The 60,000 tourists
who visit Muncaster Castle every year help pay towards the upkeep.
owners of the castle, Phyllida and Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington,
are keeping an open mind about the possibility of a new ghost. They
suspect their old friend Tom Fool may be, well, fooling around again!