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Woodborough Hall Exclusive Ghost Hunts

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Woodborough Hall
Woodborough, Nottinghamshire

OVERVIEW

For over 1,400 years, activity has taken place on the site where Woodborough Hall stands today. Originally a Saxon Fortification called 'Udeburg' built in the 7th Century, which later became Woodborough. Throughout the centuries this Manor has been home to numerous wealthy families, from the de Wodeburgs and de Strelleys during the Medieval period, to the family home of Abyssinian explorer Mansfield Parkyns in the mid-19th Century. Woodborough Hall is strongly believed to be haunted by many spirits, all of whom have such incredible stories to tell us. Who will you see at night here? Woodborough Hall is EXCLUSIVE to Brookes Paranormal.

 

HISTORY

The history of Woodborough Hall dates back to Saxon England in the 7th Century, where a wooden fortification called 'Udeburg' was built on this site. Udeburg in Old English translates to 'Wooden Fort', and it's where Woodborough gets its name from.

The location next appears a few centuries later in the Domesday Book (1086), noting that years before a Saxon Thane called 'Ulchel' owned a Manor here and 540 acres of land. The Manor and lands was gifted by William the Conqueror to his loyal friend and knight William Peverel, who later gifted it to another Norman knight called 'Ralf' who took on the surname 'de Wodeburg', thus starting the family line. The Manor stayed in possession of the de Wodeburgs until 1336, when it passed to Richard de Strelley, who was the son of the infamous Sir Sampson de Strelley who built the chancel in St. Swithun's Church years before.

Woodborough Manor would remain in Strelley hands for nearly 300 years, until the property and lands passed over to an Isabel Bold, whose grandson Strelley Bold sold the estate to George Lacock in 1640. The Strelley family were Royalists and supported Charles I in defending the Crown. Unfortunately this played a big part in the family's downfall, as their finances were being rinsed dry. This meant that they had to sell up estates to cut their losses, and it just so happened they came across George Lacock, a wealthy solicitor from Nottingham who bought the estate.

In 1660, George's grandson Philip Lacock made a drastic decision by pulling down the Medieval Manor and replacing it with a then modern two story house, featuring a tiled and gabled roof. Philip died in 1668, and the property was passed onto one of his daughters, of whom they gave possession of the Hall to the Bainbridge family, where Elizabeth Bainbridge a spinster is documented to have lived there. Elizabeth was a very likeable character to the community, and it must've been a very sad day when she passed away in 1797. After her passing, the Hall went to the Story family, with the new owner Reverend Philip Story being distantly related to the Lacocks. He removed the tiled and gabled roof, and added a second level to the house.

In 1842, the Hall and 53 acre land was sold to John Ingall Werg, making this the second sale of land since the Norman Conquest. However, it written that John had "invested unwisely" and soon put the estate up for sale. He eventually sold Woodborough Hall for £4,500 in 1852 to very interesting character, Mansfield Parkyns, the son of Sir Thomas Parkyns, 5th Baronet. Mansfield Parkyns was a famous explorer in his time, who carried out multiple expeditions to Egypt and Abyssinia, even documenting his travels in his diary, which later became a book called 'Life in Abyssinia'. Upon coming back to England, he returned to Nottinghamshire, where he purchased the house and lived there with his wife and eight daughters. He was also an incredible wood carver, who remodelled the Oak Staircase in the Hall, as well as the choir stalls in St Swithun's Church. It's also likely that the stained glass windows on the Grand Staircase were installed during Mansfield's tenure, as they feature the Parkyns Coat of Arms. In 1862, Mansfield briefly did a stint with the Sherwood Foresters, and became Colonel Parkyns, just like his ancestor Isham Parkyns during the English Civil War. He retired from work in 1884, and took up farming as well as landscaping the gardens of Woodborough Hall. Mansfield Parkyns lived an exciting and adventurous life, and on the 12th January 1894, Mansfield went to his grave.

During the outbreak of World War 2, the British Government purchased Woodborough Hall and had the Nottinghamshire A.O.C. Number 12 Fighter Group occupy it. Some famous names who visited and possibly stayed at the Hall during this time, included Trafford Leigh Mallory and Air Vice-Marshall R. L. M. Atcherley. The Hall was sold in 1959 to the British Army, and later to a Mr. Oxby in 1984.

The Hall was converted into a nursing home in 1988, and in recent years, Woodborough is now a wedding and events venue, and our new home for spooky ghost hunts.

GHOSTS & HAUNTINGS

Woodborough Hall is a brand new location to the paranormal scene, but several hauntings have been reported here by staff and by us.

Woodborough Hall's famous ghost is that of Mansfield Parkyns, an adventurous explorer in his day who lived at Woodborough Hall with his wife and eight daughters after he returned from his expeditions in North Africa. He's described as a tall gentleman with a thin-lined moustache, and is seen on numerous occasions in the corner of the Snug by the fireplace, with smells of tobacco and white smoke signifying his presence. He's also made his appearance on the Grand Staircase too, a feature of the house that he designed and carved himself. During a private investigation at the Hall back in February 2023, staff took part in a Ouija Board session and spelt out the name 'Mansfield', letting everyone know that he's still around.

Staff have also witnessed the apparition of a Lady in Black. No one knows who she is, but her face is seen in the windows of the downstairs Snug and in the Dining Room windows. She looks as if she's waiting for someone to come back home, but that person never did.

On the Oak Staircase and second floor landing, sounds of children playing and giggling emanate, but when the area is checked there is no one there. It was during our first site visit in January 2023, that a couple of the team picked up on a little boy and little girl, and that's when staff informed us that children have been asked about by previous wedding guests.

Lights are known to flicker mysteriously in different parts of the building, with auditory phenomena such as footsteps, taps and voices heard as well.

And lastly, the spirit of a Grey Lady has been sensed in one of the Bedrooms upstairs. She is said to be a religious female energy, who is visualised by Mediums kneeling down facing what would've been a crucifix on the wall. She apparently helped a sister out who committed sin, and since then this Grey Lady repents for covering up this sinful act. Who is she and does she feel she can't move on because she knows she'll be judged by the Lord?


 

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 Woodborough Hall, you will get to investigate the Snug, the Dining Room, the Drawing Rooms, the Grand Staircase, the Oak Staircase, and the second floor Bedrooms and Landing area.

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.
​ 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, Mel Meters, Spirit Boxes, Motion Detectors,
    Dowsing Rods, Laser Grid Pens, ITC Apps and SLS Cameras

  • Paranormal experiments like Ouija Boards, Glass Divination,
    Table Tipping, S
    éances, Estes Method and Human Pendulum

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