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Released: September 2013
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 180 x 110mm
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Be frightened; be very frightened! From the lanes and streets of Oxford to the colleges, grand houses, hostelries and beyond, this book will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Oxfordshire is not just a pretty place – it has a darker side. It boasts ghost stories galore. This is especially true in Oxford itself and in its ancient University colleges in particular. Here can be found ghostly dons and students – some of them famous – and a plethora of phantom monks whose presence recalls the religious origins of the colleges. A good many of the city’s ghosts, and indeed of the wider county, have stories dating back to the Civil War of the 17th century. Oxford became temporarily the headquarters of the monarchy after London was claimed by the Parliamentarians during this turbulent time. No less a figure than King Charles I haunts a number of sites.
Oxfordshire boasts a number of magnificent stately homes, many still in private hands, and a goodly number are haunted. They include one of England’s grandest homes, Blenheim Palace, which replaced the historically significant Woodstock Manor. Both Blenheim and Woodstock have experienced ghostly activity. Stonor Park – claimed by more than one authority as England’s most beautifully situated country house – also has several ghosts and so too does Minster Lovell Hall, a ruined mansion as eerie as it is romantic. All those open to the public are well worth a visit for more than just their haunted reputations.
Inns and hotels are commonly met with in British ghost-lore. Often they are among the oldest buildings in a community and have therefore seen a great deal of life (and death). Oxfordshire has more than its fair share of haunted hostelries. The ghosts haunting them include such disparate characters as highwaymen and lepers, as well as a number of phantom women, many of whom have tragic histories.
Women feature particularly strongly in Oxfordshire’s ghost stories. They include a king’s mistress, a queen’s rival, a notorious poisoner and ‘a Martyr to Excessive Sensibility’. Their stories are all to be found in this book.
We encourage you to explore for yourself not only Oxfordshire’s remarkable ghost-lore but also the many attractions of its towns, villages and countryside. You should find that tracking down the spooky sites will introduce you to many other beautiful and fascinating places. But beware – Oxfordshire’s roads are also haunted. You will have to have your wits about you as you go on your travels, for ghostly pedestrians, bicycles, coaches and cars all have the habit of abruptly appearing in front of modern motorists.