Explore the BBC

24 September 2014
Ghosts and legends banner

BBC Homepage
» Nottingham
Going Out
Have Your Say
Sense of Place
Site Map

Contact Us

The White Lady of Newstead Abbey

Artists impression of
the White Lady

The White Lady, a former resident, can now be seen wandering through her beloved gardens...

After Byron left Newstead Abbey he sold it to an old school friend, Thomas Wildman.

A devoted fan of the poet and his work, Sophie Hyatt came to live at a nearby farm.

She was very shy, being deaf and unable to speak, and would always hide away from approaching strangers by diving into any nearby bushes to avoid having to communicate.

She always carried a slate on which to write if necessary.

When the Wildmans learned how fond she was of Byron’s work they kindly allowed her to wander around the grounds whenever she wanted.

She was even allowed to take a dog Byron had left behind, for exercise on her walks.

Sophie became known as the ‘Little White Lady of Newstead’ because she always wore light clothing.

Sophie, unable to support herself, lived on an income provided by a relative. In 1825 the relative died and the money dried up.


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy