AN ILLUSTRIOUS GHOST INDEED!
Owlpen Manor, Owlpen, Gloucestershire
Set in a romantic valley in the heart of the Cotswolds hills, ensconced within a tall screen of leafy boughs and boasting a magnificent Tudor Great Hall, Owlpen Manor is possessed of an enchanting ambience, that the march of time has done little to dispel.
The De Olepenne family began it in 1450, and most of what is visible to day had been completed by 1616, at which time the house had already acquired its most famous and oldest ghostly resident, Queen Margaret of Anjou.
She was the formidable wife of the Lancastrian Henry V1, whose weak and ineffectual reign witnessed the most acute phase of the Wars of the Roses.
Margaret had joined forces with Richard Neville, known as "Warwick the Kingmaker," in an attempt to restore her husband to throne of England, from which he had been deposed by the Yorkist Edward 1V.
On the night of the 3rd May 1474, she is said to have stayed at Owlpen Manor, sleeping in the houses Tapestry Room.
Next day her son, Prince Edward, was killed at the battle of Tewksbury, as he fled the field and headed for sanctuary at nearby Tewksbury Abbey.
It is said to be the shock of Edward’s death that brings the Queen’s sad spectre back to haunt the rooms and corridors of Owlpen Manor where she spent her last happy night with hopes of Victory high.
In the Second World War, the owner of the house agreed to the billeting of several young evacuees.
On the morning after their arrival, the excited children asked her why she wasn’t still wearing the "beautiful dress" they’d seen her walking around in the previous evening.
Since she had not seen them the previous evening, and since she had certainly not been wearing such a dress, she asked them to describe it.
Their descriptions tallied with the type of dress that a well-to-do medieval lady would have worn and the owner was able to explain to the children that they had been welcomed by Owlpen Manor's illustrious ghost!