Friday, 19 September 2014

FOLKLORE ON FRIDAY - The Screaming Skull of Agnes Burton Hall

Burton Agnes Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan manor house near Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It was built between the years 1601 and 1610 by Sir Henry Griffith, as a grand replacement for the previous family home there, a manor house built in Norman times.

However according to legend whilst the house was been constructed tragedy befell the Griffith family. Sir Henry had three daughters and while they were walking in the park, they were waylaid by cut-throats and the youngest, Anne was gravely wounded. Although she survived the attack, she fell into a fever and fearing she would never recover made her sisters promise that should she die, they would take her head to the new hall once in was completed. Anne did indeed die, however her wishes were not honoured....

Soon after the family moved into the new manor house, strange noises and eerie groans haunted the place, until at last they decided to exhume Anne.... They found her head already separated from her body and the skull stripped of all flesh.... They brought Anne's skull and brought it to the hall, and the strange sounds and disturbances ceased.

However when anyone attempted to remove the skull, 'Owd Nance' as Anne's restless spirit was known, would grow angry and the troubles would begin again until her skull was returned to the hall. In the end to prevent any further troubles, Owd Nance's skull was bricked up into the walls of the hall so no one could disturb her rest again. And there it has remained to this very day... although no one is entirely sure where in the house Anne's skull now resides...

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