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Ghosts from Berkshire Places
Beginning with 'L'


Lambourn Place no longer stands, but the grounds were once haunted by the last of an ancient family who lived there named Hippisley. Henry Hippisley died in the late 19th century, having spent an infamous life oppressing the locals and defrauding charities. Some thought he had even killed one of his servants. Perhaps his spirit was repentant. It certainly had trouble finding peace.

Letcombe Regis

One morning in late July 1914, an old farmer in Letcombe reported to his family that he had not seen ‘the old man’ that morning. In surprise, they asked him what old man. So he explained. Each morning for nearly a week, as he had crossed the Letcombe Brook in the misty down to bring in the cows, he had met an old man who seemed to be wearing shining armour. Each morning, they saluted each other and went their separate ways. Then one morning, no man appeared, but as the farmer crossed the brook, he heard the thundering of many horses. To his surprise, the shallow waters of the stream churned up and stones were splashed as a huge invisible army crossed over. His children investigated the story and were told by the previous tenant that the same incident occurred immediately prior to the Boer War. The legend of the old man’s ghost had been well-known for he had also been seen before the Crimean War. Sadly no-one seems to have looked out for him in 1939.

The ‘combe’ of the River Lyd, that runs along the road between Letcombe Regis and Bassett, is haunted by a disappointed lover who drowned herself in the bubbling brook.

Littlewick Green

The present farmer of Feens Farm claim the ghostly ‘Dog of Feens’ is black, but the foresters on Ashley Hill claim it is white and traditionally it is known as the ‘White Dog of Feens’. It appears between the woods by Chalkpit Farm and the entrance to the Feens Farm, on the Bath Road, and seems to have been a Roman hunting dog with ears and tail cut short. It howls to warn people of the approach of the ghost of Dorcas Noble.

Dorcas Noble was a local woman from a reputable family who became betrothed to one of the Neville boys from Billingbear Park. However, when a rival appeared on the scene, she unsuccessfully resorted to witchcraft in order to win him back. This move does not seem to have been popular for, soon afterward, she was murdered in the Green Lane, her head being practically severed from her body. Her damned spirit is condemned to lead one of the spectral wild hunts around Windsor Forest: a headless young woman in grey apparel.

There is also a very generally accepted tradition of the ghost of the White Lady, often confused with Dorcas. She who was supposed to haunt a set route, from Boundary Elm, down Green Lane and through the Green to Cold Harbour and Knowl Hill. In a house in Green Lane, she walks right through the sitting room. From reports of her clothing, when seen at Green Lane, she may have been a Vestal Virgin from the Roman Temple on Weycock Hill in Waltham St. Lawrence.

Another house on the Green was haunted by a small child called Nellie until dispelled by an exorcism.


A guards officer, George Holford, had a startling vision while walking to Lockinge House where he was to dine with his uncle, Sir Robert Lloyd-Lindsay, came to the junction of the Oxford-Newbury road and Wantage-Wallingford road. On the crossing, he saw two men engaged in a fierce struggle, one stretched out on the ground and the other leaning over him in the act of stabbing. Captain Holford dashed forward and found himself entirely alone.

Long Wittenham

The village once had a most troublesome ghost which took eleven priests to lay it, eventually ordering it into the old monks’ fishpond, a stake marking the spot where it was pegged down. Some think this was the same spirit seen at the manor house. Read the full story.

A ghostly coach and four are heard galloping along by the old manor house. It foretold great misfortune and up to all the beginning of the 20th century travellers whistled or sang to drown out the sound of the coach when passing the manor.

A rather unusual ghost visited a 15th century house in the village, one night in 1981. An oval frame manifested itself in mid-air in the owner’s bedroom in which could clearly be seen the head and shoulders of an elderly Victorian lady. She wore “a very dark grey dress, with many pin-tucks leading from the neckline, which had a small stand-up collar with white frilling inside it…She had very straight dark hair, parted in the middle and scraped back, small alert grey eyes and a tight-pursed mouth. Her complexion was completely pale, with no colour in the cheeks”. The lady looked straight at the witness and seemed quite aware of her, but the latter felt no fear. Upon glancing away, the apparition vanished.

A thatched house in the village, situated opposite the farm buildings between the church and the main road and now turned into three cottages, was once occupied, about the beginning of the 19th century by a Mrs. Wernham, a sister of the first Squire Hayward of the Manor. Around 1810-15, mysterious rappings were heard frequently which gave rise to the idea that it was haunted. A religious service was held to exorcise the supposed ghostly visitor. Afterwards a niece who lived with the old lady confessed that she had made the noise with her elbow whilst sitting on the settle in the chimney corner.


The village is haunted by the ghost of the ungodly Sir Harry Marten, known best for his shaky signature on the death warrant of King Charles I. He was a terrible chap, always drinking, gambling and fornicating. Despite this he was MP for Berkshire. He is said to have spent £1,000 a year. He still pays periodic visits to the manor.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.