Speke Hall History

Speke Hall is a half timber framed mansion (one of the most famous in Britain) that sits on the banks of the River Mersey. The house was originally built over 400 years ago by the devout Catholic Norris family. The family lived here for over 200 years until the final female descendant married into the Beauclerks family. The Beauclerks later sold the property and its estate to the Watt family in 1795.

The last female heir of the Watt family inherited the estate and returned to live here in 1878 and did so up until her death in 1921. The house was then held in a trust for 21 years, during this time the late Miss Watts’ butler, Thomas Whatmore, and his staff took on the maintenance of the estate. In 1942 the house was passed on to the National Trust and was administered by Liverpool City Corporation until 1986 when the National Trust took complete control.

The house has bare witness to several hundred years of turbulent history. During Tudor times the essential feature of a secret priest hole was used, as well as a secret observation hole built into the chimney in one of the bedrooms, which allowed the occupant to spot any potential threats approaching the house.

Speke Hall Ghosts

There is said to be several ghosts that refuse to leave this stunning Tudor mansion. Dark shadows are often seen floating around the Great Hall, and the overwhelming sense of oppression is often felt by both staff and guests alike. The sudden feeling of nauseousness is also a frequent report by people entering this room.

The Blue Room is also reported to give an unnerving feeling, and a dark shadowy figure is often seen. When seen, the figure has been known to whisper the words, “get out”. In the upper corridors, footsteps are often heard, endlessly walking in the dead of night when nobody is around. The sound of children crying is also a frequent occurrence, even though the hall is empty.

With all these hauntings so far, the most prolific has not yet been mentioned. The story goes, that rather than cope with her husbands’ mounting debts and gambling problems, Mary Norris is said to have thrown the couples’ young son out of the window in the Tapestry room, into the murky waters of moat below. So devastated by what she had done, Mary then followed her son, throwing herself out of the window too. Since then, the ghost of Mary has been seen in the Tapestry Room, gliding across the floor, before disappearing into the walls. Although this ghost has been witnessed, the story of Mary and her son may or may not be true. So the lady seen here may be the restless spirit of someone else entirely.

Related pages: The 5 Most Haunted Places in Liverpool

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