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 Chillingham castle

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Ian
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Number of posts : 1802
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PostSubject: Chillingham castle   Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:14 pm

Chillingham began life as a 12th century stronghold. In 1246 the Grey family stormed it and evicted the then owners, their descendents have remained in possession ever since. Henry 111 stayed here in 1255, as did Edward 1st in 1298- en route to vanquish William Wallace, who was making a decided nuisance of himself north of the border! Later, Sir Thomas Grey was given permission to fortify the family stronghold, and in 1344, Chillingham became a castle. Embellished and adorned by successive generations, the last of their descendents (by then the Tankerville’s), moved out in 1933, and the proud bastion was allowed to fall into ruin. An aura of melancholic decay had soon descended upon the once mighty walls, as damp and rot chewed their way through its fabric. Then, in 1983, Sir Humphrey Wakefield, whose wife is a member of the Grey family, was allowed to take over the decaying ruin, and began a restoration that is still on going today. Thus was the castle awakened from its long sleep, and thus can visitors now explore, and even stay overnight at, what is, without doubt, one of England’s most guest friendly and deliciously eccentric castles, devoid of the pretentious prissiness with which so many ancestral homes are imbued.

Several ghosts are known to wander the castles’ eclectic and timeworn interior. The most famous, is that of the “Radiant Boy”, a childish wraith that is seen in the castles’ Pink Room, and whose heart-rending cries of either fear or pain, echo through the corridors upon the stroke of midnight. In the past, the cries always seemed to emanate from a spot close-by where a passage is cut through the ten feet thick wall, into the adjoining tower. As they faded away, a bright halo of light would appear and the figure of young boy, dressed in blue would approach those sleeping in the room. Later the bones of a child, surrounded by decaying fragments of blue cloth were found behind the wall where the haunting begins. They were given a Christian burial and thereafter, the “Radiant Boy” was seen no more. Until, that is, Sir Humphrey began letting the room. Some guests complain of a blue flash that shoots out of the wall in the dead of night. Although they attribute it to an electrical fault, Sir Humphrey is quick to point out that there are no electrics in or around that particular section of the wall.

Another unquiet soul to stalk the castle, is the spirit of Lady Berkeley, wife of Lord Grey, whose husband ran off with her own sister, Lady Henrietta and left her alone at the castle, with only their baby daughter for company. The rustle of her dress is sometimes heard as her invisible revenant sweeps along the rambling corridors, searching for her errant husband, and leaving a cold chill, not to mention bemused witnesses, in her ghostly wake.


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