Bramshill House | legends

Legends

Bramshill has been cited as one of the most haunted houses in England.[93][94] According to one UK police officer who worked at the college, 14 ghosts have purportedly been identified, although another officer at the college did not take these suggestions seriously.[27] They include a Grey Lady (one story suggests that her husband, a religious dissenter, was beheaded in the 17th century) and a Green Man (a Cope family member who either drowned in the lake in 1806, according to the journalist P. Lal, or threw himself off a cliff near Brighton, according to the author Penny Legg).[27][95]

The Green Man, dressed as his name suggests, reportedly manifests near the lake, as does the ghost supposed to be that of a gardener who drowned there.[95]

The Grey Lady allegedly haunts the terrace, the library, and the chapel. Legg suggests that she has a young and beautiful appearance, with a sad, tear-stained face and golden hair, and smelling of the lilies of the valley; Lal argues that she has reddish-brown hair and wears a grey, sleeveless robe.[27][96] The Grey Lady's husband has been reported to haunt the stables and the chapel drawing room.

The ghost of a young child allegedly haunts the library and the Fleur de Lys room; the child has supposedly been heard crying, and attempts to hold visitors' hands. Folklore holds that the Grey Lady was the child's mother.[96]

A lady dressed in the style of Queen Anne, and a knight in armour, are reported to have been seen in the chapel drawing room. The chapel itself is purportedly frequented by the ghost of a lady in 17th-century dress, and by that of a nun.

A young man dressed in 1920s tennis garb, reputed to be a Cope family member who fell from a train, has supposedly been seen in the reception area of the house. A small boy documented to haunt the terrace is said to have fallen from the roof sometime in the 18th century.[95]

In addition, Bramshill House was cited by the historian William Page as a possible location for the Legend of the Mistletoe Bough, a ghost story associated with several English country mansions.[7] This legend tells of a bride who supposedly hid in a wooden chest during a game of hide and seek on her wedding night. In the case of Bramshill House, the story has it that this happened at Christmas time, and that the bride was found fifty years later still wearing her wedding dress and with a sprig of mistletoe in her hand; the chest is on display in the entrance hall.[27]

The woman is sometimes identified as John Cope's daughter Anne, who married Hugh Bethell of Yorkshire.[97] An alternative claim is that she was Genevre Orsini, who was married in 1727, and that her ghost came to Bramshill from Italy together with the chest.[27] In his monograph on the house, the Victorian writer Sir William Cope preferred this theory and added that the chest on display was not the original, which had been proved large enough by "a woman of comely proportions" who had tested it by lying down in it, but which had been taken away by Sir Denzil Cope's widow in 1812.[98]

The ghost of the bride is referred to as the White Lady, and she is said by Legg to haunt the Fleur de Lys room.[99] According to Legg, Michael I of Romania asked to be moved to another room during a stay there, in order to not be disturbed by the young woman in white who passed through his bedroom every night.[96]

An old man with a grey beard, thought by Legg to be the father or husband of the White Lady, is reported to stare through windows and at the Mistletoe Chest.[96]

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