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Wythenshawe Hall is a 16th Century Tudor house in Wythenshawe, on the outskirts of Manchester, England. Altrincham is to the west, Stockport to the east, and Manchester City Centre is 5 miles away to the north. There isn’t much publicity surrounding the ghosts at Wythenshawe Hall, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on here. Reports have arisen of a White Lady, apparitions of monks, poltergeist activity and more.
This imposing timber framed medieval home was built in 1540 by Robert Tatton of Chester. The hall is a reminder of 4 centuries of local history. The original oak timbers can be still be seen in some areas of the house, and the painted plaster that celebrates Robert Tatton and Dorothy Booth’s marriage in 1539 can still be seen also.
A century later in winter of 1643/44, the hall was under attack by Oliver Cromwell’s forces headed by Captain Adams. Robert Tatton (grandson of Robert Tatton & Mary Booth) defended his home from the parliamentarians for 3 months with the help of over 50 neighbours, servants, and tenants. Only the arrival of two cannons from Manchester forced his surrender. The hall was confiscated by Cromwell’s men but was later returned to him following an extortionate fine of £707.13s.4d.
It was home to the Tatton family for over 400 years until Robert Henry Grenville Tatton (the final male descendant) sold the hall to Ernest Simon in 1926. Ernest then donated the hall and its parkland to the Manchester Corporation to be used for “the good of the public”. It has been used as a museum since 1930, but has recently closed to the public due to the financial restrictions on Manchester City Council. The council have said they will review their position when their financial circumstances improve. There is talk of the National Trust purchasing the hall, which is one proposition that would make sense, as this building is a very important piece of history for both Manchester and England.
A Friends Group was established in 2012, and they open the Hall monthly throughout Winter, and regularly throughout Summer months.
Mary Webb (Lady in White)
A white lady is said to haunt the hall, and has been seen by several by different people. On one occasion in 1991 a visitor to the hall along with her daughter witnessed the White Lady for themselves. They had spent an hour looking around various rooms at pictures and décor when they decided to walk upstairs to view the bedrooms. As they reached the top of the stairs they both heard what sounded like a woman sobbing. As they went to investigate they noticed something in the corner of their eye. They both turned to see a woman dressed in a long white dress walk down the corridor and into one of the bedrooms. They presumed it was a tour guide or a reenactment of some kind. They both followed the woman into the room to find it completely empty. They both thought there must be another door in the room somewhere leading out but there was just the one. The woman had disappeared into thin air!
Many believe the woman in white is the ghost of Mary Webb, a former servant to the hall back in the 1640’s. Her fiance was one of the parliamentarians who beseiged the hall. He apparently died by a shot from Captain Adams, and in revenge she shot and killed him. It is reported that the remaining soldiers took over the hall and shot her dead. It is said that Mary can be heard sobbing and walking frantically from room to room trying to flee the soldiers and her oncoming fate.
Staff have reported several strange sounds, including footsteps close to them, bangs, and occasional gunfire. On one occasion when 2 workers had just finished doing their rounds on the upper floors, they were heading downstairs when a large tapestry flew off the wall, across the staircase and landed on top of them. They both got up as fast they could and ran towards the library were the light was still on. Needless to say, they didn’t stay at Wythenshawe Hall much longer after that incident.
Strange dragging and shuffling sounds have been heard coming from the library. When the sounds are investigated they seem to stop, and nothing ever seems out of place. However, sometime in the 1980’s a warden discovered that the heavy bookcase doorway that leads to the servant quarters was open, despite him closing it earlier in the night. Also, a number of odd photos have been taken in the library showing unexplained figures, orbs, and mists.
A traditional report for old buildings such as these, is that of a sighting of monks. One particular night, Kevin Boydd and his friend were using Wythenshawe as a cut through on their way home when they suddenly came upon several monks in front of them. The monks seemed to be walking at a lower level as only their knees upwards could be seen. With Kevin and his friend stopped in their tracks, they both watched as the monks silently walked through the field and dissipated before their very eyes. They both ran in a panic to exit the park grounds as fast as they could. To this date, Kevin refuses to ever take a short cut through the park at night again.
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