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Townley Hall 13-02-2004
Saturday, 14 February 2004


13-02-2004 @ 11:00pm
The Mostly Haunted team investigate the grounds surrounding Towneley Hall.

Towneley Hall was the home of the Towneley family from the 14th century until 1902. The park covers many acres and houses football pitches, bowling greens and a vast woodland containing many walks.
In 1926 a War Memorial was erected in the park and was unveiled on December 12th by the Earl of Derby.

towneleyhall.jpgIt is rumoured that the Hall is haunted by a spirit whose visits were limited to once every seven years, when its thirst for vengeance had to be satisfied by the untimely death of one of the Hall residents.
Legend says that Sir John Towneley (1473 -1541) was said to have offended and injured the poor of the district by enclosing some of the area’s common land where the villagers used to graze their cattle, making it part of the park. As a result, his soul is said to wander about the Hall, crying out: "Be warned ! Lay out! Be warned! Lay out! Around Hore-Law and Hollin-Hey Clough, To her children give back the widows cot, For you and yours there’s still enough."

In addition to this wailing spirit there are a few other phantoms reported to wander the grounds of Towneley Park. Deep within the woods behind the hall is a small bridge that crosses the stream. This is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a white lady. Who she is, nobody knows. Perhaps she waits at the bridge for a lover who never returned. Or was it simply a place of peacefulness that she enjoyed in life.
Quite close to the bridge is a long avenue through the woods. It runs from Todmorden Road staight to the back of the hall. It has been reported that the sound of marching boots has been heard coming down this avenue. Some say that it is the ghost of Roundheads, sent by Oliver Cromwell, coming to arrest Charles Towneley, or that it is the ghost of a faithful retainer reporting that his master had been killed in the massacre of July 2nd, 1644.

At 11:00pm on Friday 13th February 2004 the Mostly Haunted team visited Towneley Hall to try to find the ghosts that are reported to lurk around the hall. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the interior of the hall, but there were enough reports on the outside to keep us busy.

The War Memorial

Fig 1. The first location visited by the team was the war memorial. It was built a few years after the Great War and although there had been no reports of ghostly sightings it seemed like as good a place as any to begin. Nothing out of the ordinary seemed to be happening until we left this location. At this point Richard and Lindsey heard a noise that sounded like footsteps behind them only a few metres away.

Richard took a few photos behind them, See Fig 2 and Fig 3.

Fig 2.Fig 3.

The Woodland Walk

Fig 4. From the war memorial the team made their way up into the woods on a circular route that would take in the avenue and the bridge, two locations that were supposed to be haunted. As the team made their way deeper into the trees Richard and Lindsey became aware of a feeling that there was something following the team. In the woods there were many noises but nothing that sounded as if there was someone following, but both Richard and Lindsey were convinced that the team were not alone in the woods.

The Avenue

In the middle of the woods is the avenue. This is a straight track that runs from the rear of the hall up towards Todmorden Road. It has the appearance of a tunnel of trees and the team stopped here for a short while. The team saw or heard nothing that was out of the ordinary and continued through the woods.

The Bridge

Fig 5. A short distance from the avenue is the bridge where a white lady is supposed to haunt. The team stopped at the bridge and again Richard and Lindsey had the feeling that they were being followed. The team waited in silence and again saw or heard nothing. The team took some photographs at the bridge but saw nothing paranormal.

The vigil at Towneley Hall grounds was particularly uneventful. Other than the feeling of being followed through the woods there was nothing unusual experienced. This is sometimes the case and it shows that not all haunted locations are active all of the time. Maybe another time?

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