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Tamworth Castle Ghost Hunts

Tamworth Castle
Tamworth, Staffordshire

OVERVIEW

Tamworth Castle is an amazing Grade I listed castle with a dark, grisly history dating back more than 1,100 years, where numerous reported ghost sightings and paranormal occurrences leave many terrified, shrieking in fear. This incredible stone castle is the site of many key historical events, including where Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians died after years of fighting against the Vikings, royal visits from several medieval Kings and the transformation of this fortified structure into a family residence. Tamworth Castle is one of the most haunted castles in Britain, with so many ghosts that roam the spooky rooms and corridors, such as Editha the Black Lady, the White Lady and an evil executioner who creates poltergeist activity.

 

Dare you brave the night investigating the Ghosts of Tamworth Castle?

What interesting stories do they have to tell? Join us to find out!

- EVENT DATES -

HISTORY

- Saxon Tamworth & King Offa's Palace -

While Tamworth can be traced back to Roman Britain, the history of Tamworth dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. In 757 AD, a man named Offa became King of Mercia after the murder of Aethelbald who had ruled Mercia for 41 years. In King Offa's early years of his reign, he consolidated with the tribes of the Midlands to establish control and authority, even taking over the small Kingdom of Kent. Through his successful military offense, rather than being an Overlord he declared himself 'King of the Mercians' after changing Mercia into an aggressive and powerful Kingdom. At some point during his reign, King Offa built a Palace in Tamworth, which was so magnificent in style and furnishings it was described as 'the wonder of the age'. It's believed King Offa's Palace would've been situated either on the site of the Castle or nearby it. King Offa of Mercia died on the 29th July 796 AD. Another Saxon King that visited Tamworth was Aethelstan, who was greeted in 927 AD by the Viking Leader of York Sihtric, where they agreed a peace treaty.

- Aethelflaed, Lady Of The Mercians -

Aethelflaed was one of the most incredible historical figures of early medieval England. She was the eldest daughter of Alfred The Great and together with her husband Aethelred they both ruled Mercia and fought off attacks from neighbouring Vikings in the Danelaw. Alongside Aethelflaed's brother, Edward The Elder, the couple led military campaigns in the 10th Century which brought large parts of England back under Anglo-Saxon control. At the same time as this, both Aethelflaed and her husband Aethelred embarked on building fortifications known as 'Burhs' or fortified towns, one of which was Tamworth where she spent much of her later life. After her husband's death in 911 AD, she became sole ruler and continued her military aggression to expand her Kingdom across Mercia and beyond. She was often referred to as 'Lady of the Mercians', and on the 12th June 918 AD, Aethelflaed took her last breath here at Tamworth (capital on Mercia), leaving a legacy of being one of the most powerful and strongest female rulers in English history.

- Building Of Tamworth Castle & The Marmion Family -

Following the Norman Conquest, one of William the Conqueror's main stewards, Robert Despenser, was granted the manor of Tamworth and ordered to build a motte and bailey castle there. Tamworth was already minting coins at the time of Norman rule, so building a castle here made a lot of sense to bolster the security of the Midlands. Tamworth Castle was constructed in c.1070-80. Robert died without an heir, so the Castle was passed on to his nieces, one of which Matilda, married a man called Robert Marmion who inherited Tamworth Castle in 1100. Robert came from a family of Lords of Fontenay le Marmion in Normandy, France. The Marmions were champions for the Dukes of Normandy, and after 1066, for the Kings of England as well. This meant that they jousted in the King's colours and offered challenges at coronation ceremonies to anyone who dared dispute the new Kings. From the beginning of the 12th Century to the end of the 13th Century, six of the Marmions ruled as Lords over Tamworth Castle, all except the last were named Robert.

During their tenure, they remodelled the Castle by taking down the wooden fortifications and replacing it with stone to make it stronger, less impenetrable and worthy for nobility. However this could've been time and resources wasted, as in 1215 while on a military campaign in France, Lord Robert IV Marmion deserted King John in favour of siding with the French King. Because of this betrayal, on the 30th December 1215 John ordered for Robert to have all of his lands seized, his son Geoffrey imprisoned and for Tamworth Castle to be demolished. It is thought that part of the Castle Keep was destroyed by this royal command. Thankfully John's death put a halt to any further destruction, and soon after, Robert's sons made peace and amends with the Crown and the Castle was returned back to the Marmions. The Marmions would later go on to entertain Kings such as Henry I and Henry II, which more than made-up the little issue that happened towards the end of King John's life.

The last Marmion Lord to reside at Tamworth Castle was Philip Marmion, who was here from 1241 until his death in 1291. He was an influential nobleman and a great supporter to King Henry III, which reflected in Henry's visit to Tamworth Castle in 1257, showing not just honour but symbolizing just how important Philip was to England. When Philip died in 1291 with no male heir, this ended the Marmion family line here at Tamworth, as the Castle passed onto his daughter who also died just a few years later. The Castle was inherited by her niece Joan and her husband Alexander Freville in 1294, thus starting the Freville family line here.

- The Freville Family -

The Freville family originated from Cambridgeshire, but soon settled into their new home and was quick to entertain royal guests. In 1330, Lord Baldwin II de Freville invited King Edward III to visit and stay over at the Castle whilst he used the royal hunting forest of Cannock Chase. Baldwin III de Freville was a seasoned soldier who fought in the Hundreds Years War with France alongside Edward the Black Prince who thought very highly of Baldwin. The last Baldwin de Freville died in 1423, ending the male Freville line at Tamworth Castle. His eldest daughter Elizabeth took possession of the property along with her husband, Sir Thomas Ferrers of Groby.

- Tudor Additions & The Ferrers Family -

The Ferrers family were of rich nobility who had held lands in the Midlands for about 350 years at this point, and now they had a new abode, Tamworth Castle. The Ferrers would reside here at Tamworth Castle for about 300 years, and throughout that time they made some new additions and renovated parts of the Castle to make it immaculate for the time, starting in 1437 when Thomas Ferrers built the Great Hall featuring those fashionable timber tie-beams still seen today. During the Tudor and Elizabethan periods, the Ferrers transformed the Castle from a medieval fortress into a grand Tudor home suitable to flaunt their wealth and impress with their stature in high society. Lord Humphrey II made some drastic changes by removing much of the existing medieval structures and replacing them with new buildings to help resemble this place as a family home.

These changes certainly paid off in the end, because in the early 17th Century, the Ferrers were rewarded for their loyal services with three visits from King James I in 1619, 1621 and 1624. The Tudor buildings comfortably accommodated a royal entourage with its grandeur and splendidness.

During the English Civil War the Ferrers family left Tamworth to the relative safety of their other home in Walton-on-Trent, but as soon as the War had ended they returned immediately and continued having ownership throughout the rest of John Ferrers IV's lifetime. When John died in 1680, the Castle passed through to his granddaughter, Ann Ferrers.

- English Civil War, Castle Besieged & Aftermath -

In the autumn of 1642, William Comberford raised a small Royalist force and garrisoned Tamworth Castle on behalf of King Charles I. The Comberford family were Lords of various manors in the region and even owned the Tudor Moat House nearby. The neighbouring town of Lichfield was held by the Parliamentarians, so naturally Comberford had his eyes set on Lichfield. Rather than having an outright battle, the Royalists harried the opposition instead, halting supply routes which caused a nuisance towards the Roundhead army. Lichfield had a much larger Parliamentarian army and sought to eliminate the Royalist's power over Tamworth.

 

On the 23rd June 1643, Parliament laid siege against the Royalists at Tamworth Castle which lasted for two days until it was captured by a detachment of Cromwell's forces under Colonel William Purefoy. Comberford had escaped, but most of the garrison were imprisoned at the Castle. The next year, Royalist forces comprised of 2,200 soldiers attempted to take back the Castle by attack, but sadly they failed to do so.

From 1688 to 1754, two families by the names of Shirley and Compton held ownership of the Castle, but never lived there. Instead they rented the Castle out to different people, including a Walter Milward.

- Georgian Period & Townshend Family -

As we head into the Georgian period, George Townshend acquired Tamworth Castle through his wife, Lady Charlotte. He was a prominent figure in this time, as he was a Field Marshal in the British Army, a member of the Privy Council and surprisingly a renowned caricaturist. It's unlikely that he lived at the Castle since he called for a survey of the structure which was described being a in a state of decay due to neglect in the early 1700s.

 

George's son George Townshend II inherited the Castle after his mother's death, but during his father's lifetime he did carry out some renovations and refurbishments to repair the interior parts of the building. He had the Elizabethan wing altered by removing the top attic floor, all the Tudor windows were taken out and substituted with gothic style ones and he landscaped parts of the site to create a lavish private garden for his family. Sadly by the time these changes were completed, George had already passed away. His estate was declared bankrupt on his death due to the amount of debt collected from the building works. For a brief period the Castle was in possession of a London Lawyer called John Robbins, but in 1833 it was back in the ownership of the Townshend family. Again they didn't live in the Castle and instead rented it out to wealthy tenants.

- Victorian Tenants & Castle Today -

One of Tamworth Castle's wealthy tenants was Miss Hester Wolfestan. She was spinster who lived here with her footman, cook and two maids from 1844 until her death in 1861, aged 82. Another tenant was Thomas Cooke, a wealthy textile manufacturer who took over the tenancy in 1867. He owned a warehouse and a factory in Tamworth which produced functional and practical garments for the working class people. His business provided the people of Tamworth with 500 jobs. Thomas was a widower and lived at the Castle with his family, however in 1884 at the age of 61, he married a second time to Frances Wann who was aged 35. Interestingly also in 1884, Thomas and Frances had a daughter together whom they named Aethelflaeda, after the famous female warrior who died almost a thousand years before. By 1897 the Cooke's were obliged to vacate the Castle, as the Townshend family had decided to sell the property.

Tamworth Castle was sold for £3,000 to the Tamworth Corporaton, later Tamworth Borough Council, for the people of Tamworth. After 2 years of renovations, Tamworth Castle opened up as a museum in 1899 and is still a museum and visitor attraction to this very day.

GHOSTS & HAUNTINGS

Tamworth Castle is reputedly one of the most haunted castles in Great Britain, given the levels of paranormal activity and the reports of ghosts being sighted here over the centuries.

 

The Castle's most famous ghost is the Black Lady called 'Editha', who was a nun from the 9th Century and first Abbess of Polesworth Abbey. During the 1st Baron Marmion's ownership of Tamworth Castle in 1066, he expelled all the nuns from Polesworth Abbey. The nuns in anger prayed to Saint Editha for a sign to help them overcome the situation and indeed their prayers were answered. On one cold night in 1139 after a lavish banquet, Editha's ghost rose from her grave and appeared to the 2nd Baron Marmion in his bedchamber. She warned him that if he didn't reinstate the nuns back to Polesworth, he would meet an untimely and painful death. Just before she vanished, she struck Robert Marmion on his side with the point of her crozier and his ghastly screams of pain were heard so loudly that everyone in the Castle woke up. Seeing him look tormented by what he saw and the pain he felt, his friends and associates advised for him to see a priest to confess his sins and to bring back the nuns to Polesworth Abbey where they belong. Since then, Editha's ghost has been seen multiple times by staff, visitors and ghost hunters, with a famous photo dated back to the 1940s which shows a cowled nun figure walking down the oak staircase. Why does Editha still haunt Tamworth Castle?

Another famous ghost here is the White Lady who haunts both The Haunted Bedroom and the Battlements. It's believed the White Lady is one of two people; the lover of Sir Tarquin or the Lady of the Mercians herself, Aethelflaed. The story of the White Lady in connection with Sir Tarquin is that it's said he threw her into the Tower and kept her prisoner, but she slowly fell in love with him. Sir Tarquin was killed by Sir Lancelot du Lac in a rescue mission, but knowing her lover was no more, she jumped off the battlements to her saddening death. On the other hand, Aethelflaed had such an important part in defending Tamworth from the Great Heathen Army, and the fact she died in Tamworth as well, there's every possibility the White Lady is Aethelflaed. Whoever the White Lady is, her apparition can be heard weeping in these areas and she's been seen pacing back and forth as if waiting for someone. Could it be Sir Tarquin's lover still waiting for him to come back for her? Or is it Aethelflaed who still has unfinished business here since she died in the middle of her quest to rid Mercia and the Danelaw of the Vikings?

In the Long Gallery, strange blue light anomalies and mists have been reported floating in the air before fading towards the windows. On one occasion, a lady called June who used to work at Tamworth Castle many years ago, was opening up the Castle rooms, when quite literally out of the blue she was temporarily blinded by an unexplained force and then saw a blue light/mist appear and jump through one of the windows.

In the Great Hall there's a large executioner's sword, and many sensitives and psychic mediums like Derek Acorah have picked up on the spirit of a Spanish executioner that's followed the sword to Tamworth. It's said this evil person is the root cause for cold spots, horrific growls and some of the poltergeist activity that happens at Tamworth Castle like objects being thrown and loud bangs and knocks that are heard. Some of the other poltergeist happenings include the sounds of doors opening and slamming shut on their own by unseen hands and phantom footsteps.

With more than a thousand years of dark and twisted history, what other spirits haunt Tamworth Castle?

YOUR GHOST HUNT EXPERIENCE

Your night of ghost hunting with Brookes Paranormal is guaranteed a fun, safe and spooky one. Experience this historic location with exclusive access after dark, as you explore the eerie rooms and areas in search for the ghostly spirits that haunt here. Here at Tamworth Castle, you will get to investigate the Dungeon & Courtyard, the Great Hall, the Haunted Bedroom (Lady's Chamber), the Georgian Rooms and the Victorian Rooms.

Our team are friendly, professional, approachable and knowledgeable with paranormal investigating, and we will guide and support you to make sure you get the most out of your investigation. We welcome everyone from all walks of life, as our events are a safe space for all who love and enjoy the thrill of ghost hunting. Whether you're a paranormal novice or an experienced investigator, you'll be well-looked after and treated like family.

This is an honest ghost hunting experience, so there won't be any fakery or trickery during the night. We believe that if activity happens, it happens for real.

On your ghost hunt, you will be split into smaller groups to give you the best, personal experience possible. You will also get hands on with various pieces of ghost hunting equipment and participate in interesting paranormal experiments.
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While we encourage everyone
to get involved in the night's vigils, you don't have to partake in experiments like Ouija Boards and the Estes Method if you don't
want to, we have plenty of other equipment for you to use.


You will also have a couple of breaks throughout the night, where we provide you with unlimited refreshments and snacks.


 

YOUR EVENT INCLUDES

  • Group photo of all guests which gets published to our page

  • Small group extended vigils

  • Refreshments and snacks like teas, coffees, hot chocolates, bottles of water, biscuits, crisps and chocolate bars

  • Full use of ghost hunting equipment like K2s, EMF Meters, REM Pods, Cat Balls, Spirit Boxes, Motion Detectors, Dowsing Rods, Laser Grid Pens, ITC Apps, Puck Devices and SLS Cameras

  • Paranormal experiments like Ouija Boards, Glass Divination, Table Tipping, Séances, Estes Method, Automatic Writing and Pendulums

  • An introduction to ghost hunting equipment and techniques for guests new to the paranormal

 

PLEASE NOTE BEFORE BOOKING

  • All attendees MUST be 18 years or older

  • Heavily pregnant women are NOT allowed on these events

  • This location is NOT wheelchair accessible

  • This location has NO sleepover facilities

  • We operate a STRICT No Alcohol/Drugs Policy on our events, and if caught or believed to be under the influence of any alcohol or drugs, you will be removed from the event immediately and banned from all future events - No refunds

  • All attendees MUST bring a torch to the event, as we will be investigating in dark areas and low light conditions

  • Sensible footwear is required for the location's environmental conditions

  • In the colder months we advise to wear warm layered clothing, and bring a warm coat with you as the night will get cooler as the event progresses

  • History tours are NOT provided at this location, but we will talk briefly on the location's past

  • Ouija Boards ARE brought to events at this location

  • Please ensure you are able to attend this event; deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable, and full payments and remaining balances are non-refundable and non-transferable four weeks prior to the event date

ADDRESS, EVENT TIMES & PARKING

ADDRESS: Tamworth Castle, Holloway, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7NA

EVENT TIMES: 8:00pm - 1:00am (Arrive at 7:45pm)

Please wait patiently outside the main black gates until a member of our team greets you there, where they will register you and other team members will guide you on-site to our base room.

PARKING:

  • Holloway Car Park (free parking after 6pm)

  • Jolly Sailor Car Park (free parking after 6pm)

  • Local street parking

Please note parking charges may apply.

- NEARBY LOCATIONS -

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