Saturday, 3 November 2007

On this day…

If you are a potential ghost hunter based in London, then you should get yourself down to Bruce Castle in Tottenham to hang around and wait for the ghost of Lady Coleraine.

A 16th century manor house is one of the last things you’d expect to find in Tottenham, along with possibly a new branch of Fresh and Wild. But Bruce Castle harks back to the days when Tottenham was a desirable parish on the edge of London. It was built by Sir William Compton, who held the rather dubious and intriguing sounding title of ‘squire of the bedchamber’ to Henry VIII, on lands that originally belonged to the Bruis, or Bruce family.

The Coleraine family acquired the house and several stories circulate about the first Lord Coleraine, and his lady wife. One, is that she jumped to her death from the balcony with their baby son after her husband turned against her. Two, is that the husband wanted to marry his mistress, so imprisoned his wife in the room below the clock tower until the ticking drove her mad, causing her to leap to her death. The third story is that the husband was obsessed with the fear that his young beautiful wife would run off with another man, and so kept her locked away under the clock tower, until she decided to kill herself by jumping… yes you get the idea.

Whatever the facts, it appears she certainly died by falling from the balcony on November 3rd 1680. And she is not going to let anyone forget it… every year, on the anniversary of her death, the sound of a scream can apparently be heard as she takes her fatal plunge.

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