|Berry Pomeroy Castle during my visit in Summer 2010|
One of the few things I like about the town I live in, is its close proximity to several interesting, spooky, unusual and beautiful places. The ruins of Berry Pomeroy Castle certainly fit all four of those categories very well. Situated near Totnes in Devon, the castle itself was built in the late 15th Century by the Pomeroys, followed by later buildings erected within the caslte walls by the Seymours during the 16th and 17th Centuries. It's also said to be one of the most haunted places in the UK, so naturally, I had to visit!
Even on a sunny day the exterior of the castle looks quite gloomy and foreboding. The inside is also very dark and claustrophobic, so I can see why some people might feel uneasy - with or without any paranormal happenings! However, there are many of tales of spooky happenings and two ghost stories in particular have been associated with Berry Pomeroy Castle since the early 1900's.
The first apparition, known as 'The Blue Lady', is said to be that of the daughter of a Norman lord. After she gave birth to her own father's child, she strangled the baby in one of the tower rooms because she hated it so much. That seems an unlikely source for the ghost, as archeological research has shown that the castle did, in all likelyhood, not exist during Norman times. That said, 'The Blue Lady', whoever she may be, has been seen on numerous occasions, wearing a blue hooded cape, wringing her hands in despair and the cries of a baby are often said to be heard in the tower.
The second famous ghost associated with the castle is 'The White Lady', who is said to be that of Lady Margaret Pomeroy. The story goes that Lady Margaret was imprisioned by her sister, Lady Elanor, because they fell in love with the same man and she was jealous of Lady Margaret's beauty. After being locked in the tower for approximately 20 years, Lady Margaret was finally allowed to die slowly of starvation and now resides in the dungeons, ascending in order to lure people to the more dangerous parts of the castle. Strong feelings of malevolence, fear and hopelessness are also said to accompany her appearances.
There are also stories about people who have wanted to take a small rock or shard of brick home as a memento of their visit. They often feel a strong negativity afterwards and feel compelled to return the taken item. After doing so, they report that this negativity disappears completely. (Don't steal, kiddies!)
I don't know whether Berry Pomeroy Castle is haunted or not, but it's still a gorgeous place to visit with an interesting history and, if you do decide to visit, who knows what you'll find there...
For more information, visit the English Heritage page: