It’s long been said that one of our most famous and important landmarks in Southampton, Tudor House, is haunted. From ringing sounds, to full apparitions, there have been many unexplained events occur in this spooky building.
On Thursday, we were lucky enough to attend a virtual Ghost Talk with Andy Skinner, Learning Officer at Tudor House and Gardens. Due to current restrictions and the need for distancing, Tudor House can’t conduct their tours as usual. However, virtual tours are a great way to keep the place alive and open, and it was a fantastic hour of learning to have from home. And, it was pouring rain on Thursday, so we all stayed dry!
Andy gave us a brief history of Tudor House. It’s had many past owners, from business owners, to wealthy ladies, and even a traitor to the King, thought by some to be responsible for killing the two young princes in The Tower of London.
We don’t want to give too much away, so we won’t reveal details about the ghostly happenings in Tudor House, but there are a couple of points that stuck with us.
Séances were very popular during Victorian times. And a few were held at Tudor House. During these séances, a number of seemingly random words and names came up came up on pieces of paper… The name Dawtry and the year 1498, for example. Well, Sir John Dawtry was the owner of Tudor House in, you guessed it, 1498.
A little more obscure was the word “Cobalt”. There is no record of an owner of resident called "Cobalt". But it so happens that during Victorian times, there was a dye works at Tudor House. And cobalt is the colour of a dye frequently used in those times. The cynic in us says the medium might have known in advance but we like to follow the theory that Tudor House holds its history within, giving us glimpses into the past every so often.
There were many other eerie occurrences. A team member was in reception, when a bag across the room from her, landing on the floor in the middle of the room. It’s said, that in the same room, a ringing bell has been heard. In the Victorian times, when Tudor House hosted many small businesses, it’s almost certain that they would have had bell over their shop doors. Could this be the bell people claim to hear? And then there’s the mystery of the locking door in the cellar… one that we’ll leave for you to discover!
This was a brilliant hour spent learning local history from the comfort of our armchairs. Of course, we’d love to see it in all its glory as soon as restrictions can ease, but for now, these virtual talks are affordable, and a great way to support Tudor House in uncertain times.
Keep an eye out for more talks coming up in the future, and hopefully we will see (virtually!) see you there!