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Abington Park Museum Ghost Hunts

Abington Park Museum
Northampton, Northamptonshire

OVERVIEW

Abington Park Museum is a place of social and military history, but most notably a home of various families from centuries gone-by. Once a medieval manor rebuilt into a 16th Century house, with connections to William Shakespeare and repurposed as a lunatic asylum in the Victorian period. Haunted by the ghost of a wailing woman rumoured to have hanged herself in the East Range of this building, with strange disembodied voices and loud bangs heard in the empty rooms and corridors, phantom footsteps that walk the floors, and a malevolent presence that sends shivers down your spine. What energies remain trapped within these walls? What stories do they have to tell?

- EVENT DATES -

HISTORY

- Origins Of Abington -

The Manor of 'Abintone' was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, where it stated that after the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror gave the village of Abintone to one of his knights Sir Richard Engine (Engaine), which featured a manor house and a mill. The ownership of Abington continued through Richard's descendants who married into the Lisours family, where they built the adjacent Church in circa 1200. The Lisours branch of the family died out eventually and Abington was handed over to Nicholas Bassingbourne who had married the widow of Fulk de Lisours.

 

In 1386, Abington was sold to Sir Nicholas Lilling who years previously was a local MP and High Sheriff of Northampton. Nicholas' great-grandson John Bernard became the first in the family to actually reside at Abington Manor with his wife Margaret. John and Margaret rebuilt the manor house over many years, and some parts of the house today date back to that same early Tudor period, such as the Great Hall and the panelling now seen in the Oak Room, which were completed between 1496 and 1508. While we don't know for certain how long John lived at Abington or when he died, it was rumoured that he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 having carried one of Richard III's banners, but alas this is just a rumour.

- Connections To Shakespeare -

Did you know that Abington has two known connections to playwright William Shakespeare? The first comes from John Bernard's great-great-grandson, Baldwin Bernard, who married a woman called Eleanor Fullwood. Eleanor's grandmother Agnes Webbe married Shakespeare's grandfather Robert Arden in 1548. The second connection comes later in 1649. Baldwin and Eleanor had a son called John Bernard who inherited Abington after his parents passed away. After the death of his first wife in 1642, John later remarried to a woman called Elizabeth Nash who was William Shakespeare's eldest granddaughter, and the only grandchild born in his lifetime. Elizabeth's mother inherited Shakespeare's personal papers, leading to speculation over the centuries that they could still be hidden somewhere at Abington Park Museum.

- From Bernards To Thursbys -

The Bernard family would go on to live at Abington for nearly 250 years, until in 1669, John Bernard sold Abington to William Thursby for the cost of £13,750. William immediately began to remodel the house and and make changes to the estate, including the addition of the south section of the house and the water tower located in the eastern side of the park. Abington was then passed through William's nephew to John Harvey of Stockton, who changed his name by Act of Parliament to John Harvey Thursby after inheriting the house and estate. John married a lady called Honour and together they had 11 children. He continued with William's alterations plan and in 1738 he built up the East Range which now had a Palladian front. By 1742 the whole parish of Abington had been enclosed, creating an extensive parkland around the house. The Abington estate was then inherited by John Harvey Thursby's son, also named John. In 1823, Abington Church was severely damaged by a storm and had to be rebuilt the following