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Bradbourne House, East Malling, Kent

8th May 2010
 

 

Built in the vicinity of Roman Cemeteries and Prehistoric Sites it is known that a manor house has existed at Bradbourne since at least 1411. The current Queen Anne facade hides a Tudor manor house where the cellars, the now covered courtyard, and some interior paneling remains.

Originally owned by the Manningham's it passed to the Twisden family of Roydon Hall around 1656. Thomas Twisden was a judge who received his knighthood at the restoration of the monarchy and was on the panel of judges who oversaw the trials of those responsible for the execution of Charles I. His bedroom still exists and the Judges Passage leading to this room is believed to be haunted by him.

A later Sir Roger Twisden disinherited one of his sons and started a family history of quarrels. A hundred years after his death he is reputed to have taken offence at the cutting down of trees in the park and was seen angrily driving his 'coach and six' around the park.

Bradbourne House remained with the family until 1937. East Malling Trust purchased it at auction and it is now a respected wedding and conference venue as well as being the centre of administration of the trust. The house retains many original and respectfully restored features including a secret door behind a bookcase used by the judge along with a large collection of original portraits of the family, and an original piano and long-case clock.

 

Background

Although a number of events were described to us prior to our first investigation which can be read here, there were no new events reported between.

We had, on our first investigation recorded notable instances of which we wished to make further investigation on this visit most notably in the Drawing Room or what used to be the Twisden family Dining Room.

  The Investigation
  Apparatus:

Video camera-
Sony DCR HC-62 with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR-HC19 with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light
Sony DCR/DVD-110E with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light

Digital Camera-
Fuji Fine Pix S5000
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Canon EOS 1000D
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-38

Voice recorder -
Olympus VN-2100PC
Olympus DM20
HNSAT DVR958


Other-

Video tapes (mini DV)

Team:

Kim
Ian
Paddy
Dave


Method:

Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual theory investigate the background to any occurring possible paranormal phenomena at this venue.

Based upon the events of the last investigation we planned to visit the Drawing Room as mentioned above. This would be done in our established method of splitting the team into two pairs so as to give maximum time in each area covered. The other half of the split would incorporate the Green Room on the opposite side of the Great Hall. Another split was intended to be scheduled after this although the events on the split would dictate otherwise.

Investigation:

Session 1 Green Room

Kim and Ian went to the Green Room and sat at the main table in the room for this session The session was recorded on audio and video.

Session 2 Green Room

Dave and Paddy went to the Green Room for their second session and sat in the same places as Kim and Ian had. The session was recorded on audio and video.

Session 1 Drawing Room.

Dave and Paddy went to the Drawing Room for their first session and sat either side of the large table in this room. The session was recorded on audio and video.

Session 2 Drawing Room.

Kim and Ian went to the Green Room for their second session and sat in the same places as Dave and Paddy had. The session was recorded on audio and video.

Session 3 Drawing Room.

For reasons that will become apparent the entire team would return for session 3 to the Drawing Room and conduct a séance there. This session was recorded on audio and video.

Session 4 Drawing Room.

After a break the entire team would return once again to the drawing room by virtue of what happened in the previous session 3.

 

The Drawing Room

Results
Session 1 – Kim and Ian – Green Room.

It was observed that it was still dusk at the commencement of this session and there was still birdsong outside however there were (and would remain) internal wooden shutters on all main windows. There was a small amount of light entering around these shutters.

Two knocks were heard from an adjacent room.

A rustling noise was heard within the room like loud clothing followed by a loud knock outside the room.

Kim heard music in the distance.

As Ian called for responses there was a knock next to him.

Kim asked if she or Ian could be seen or heard and faint taps were heard from the corner of the room.

Ian then asked for further responses and there were taps heard.

Two more taps were heard from the other side of a door immediately following each other.

A series of heavy thuds were then heard from the room upstairs.

Session 2 – Dave and Paddy – Green Room.

Dave and Paddy had very little, in comparison to report from the green room other than a small number of random knocks from the north west corner of the room.

Session 1 – Dave and Paddy – Drawing Room.

Dave and Paddy also observed that it was still light outside when the started and, having two uncovered windows, there was no need to put any lights on to set up.

Almost immediately footsteps were heard in a neighbouring room.

Loud taps were heard in the corner of the room between Paddy and the door through to the bar.

A sound of movement was heard from the direction of the door through to the Great Hall, followed immediately by the sound of footsteps within the room.

Three taps were heard in the bar area next door in quick succession.

There was a very loud tap or creak heard from the area of the corner of the bookcase.

A tap was heard which neither Dave nor Paddy could agree which one of them it was behind.

A tap similar to the clicking of a physical activation of an electrical switch was heard in the same corner as previous noises near Paddy.

Further definable sounds of footsteps were heard near to the door to the Great Hall.

Session 2 – Ian and Kim – Drawing Room.

To be completed


Session 3 – Entire Team – Drawing Room.

After a quiet start to the session after six minutes it began to warm up and random tapping noises were heard.

Dave had a view of part of the room that was illuminated by the light of the night outside and was adamant that he saw the rear of a figure walking from the direction of the light into the room for a few seconds. The figure was a female wearing a high necked dress and wearing her hair in a bun. She could not be described further as the front of the figure was in shadow. Upon reaching a darker area of the room she was not seen again. The area the figure was lost sight of was near to Ian's camera and within a short space of time Paddy saw a figure reflected in the glass of the book case as a silhouette but could not describe it any further. The figure that Paddy saw was moving.

Shortly after the above event Dave saw a fine mist develop at head height by Ian's camera which seemed to come and go for a short period of time before failing to re-appear.

A loud tap was heard within the room at the same time this comment was made.

Kim, at the same time as experiencing pains in her abdomen.

Ian experienced a cold blast of air over his right ear.

There were further noises on the footage which were not noticed at the time which have been reproduced on the video clip (see linky).

A small number of noises were heard during this session mainly from above the paneling.


Session 4 – Entire Team – Drawing Room.

A small number of noises were heard during this session.

Conclusions
Green Room

The knocks from the adjacent room were not investigated and therefore no explanation natural or otherwise is available.

The rustling noise within the room was, like many heard on previous investigations, likened to clothing as if someone was moving about. Nothing was seen and neither was any natural source found. It was not repeated.

Bearing in mind that it was still reasonably early the music could have been from a house or vehicle in the proximity although Bradbourne House is somewhat isolated and there are no immediate premises nearby other than the caretakers house. This may have been the source of what was heard bearing in mind Kim herself notes that it was in the distance.

The knocks and noises around the room heard by Kim and Ian in their session are not easy to identify and are coincidentally occurring when responses are being asked for.

A possible reason for the loud thuds upstairs was investigated at the following hour and it was found to be caused by a large clock in an upstairs room.

In comparison to Kim and Ian very little was noted by Dave and Paddy although the noises heard by them all emanated from one location. A radiator was found in this corner of the room and the noises are believed to have been connected with that.

Drawing Room

The fact that no lights were illuminated in order to set up is significant. Any noises that may normally be attributable to the cooling of lights could be discounted for this session as could any other electrical noises.

The first set of footsteps were distinct and caused Dave to confirm if Kim and Ian were moving about, by radio. They were not but Kim had heard them too from their location. The cause is not known and they were not investigated due to the immediate onset of other phenomena.

All loud noises in the corner near to Paddy and the bar door were unable to be identified. Having discounted the possible cause of lights cooling and there not being a radiator in this area, combined with the fact that they seemed to be elevated towards the ceiling means that we can offer no explanation of their cause. They did not occur in any order or pattern.

The sound of movement followed by footsteps may be judged to be significant given later events although at this time was recorded and not investigated. There was no visible cause and no identifiable audible source for wither.

The taps from the bar were identified as the cooler starting to refrigerate. They were to also occur later but as they were identified they were not noted further.

The loud creak by the bookcase remains unidentified. Again there was no visible or audible source for this noise and it remains unexplained.

The tap in the disputed location is of interest from the point that Paddy and Dave were sat on opposite sides of the table facing each other. How could it be that this one noise defies either of them to accurately locate it and both thinking that it occurred behind the other.

The sound of what was thought to be an electrical switch is interesting. It came from high up on an architrave around the ceiling on which there are lights mounted shining upwards to the ceiling. As stated before these were not turned on at any point so this is unlikely to be a cooling noise and the fact that nothing seemed to be turn on or off when the sound was heard means this is difficult to identify or explain.

Further footsteps heard near the door to the Great Hall seems to corroborate other noises heard in this area.

Session 3

A number of small noises were heard during this, and session 4. Most of these came from the area of lighting installed above the paneling. See addendum to report.

The figures seen by Dave and Paddy were, unfortunately, not seen by the rest of the team and therefore the sightings of these and the mist cannot be verified. Neither of the camcorders were pointing in the right direction to catch any of these events on the footage. Both Dave and Paddy are adamant about what they saw and whilst there was natural light coming in through one of the windows this would not have caused any illusion of movement as there were no movable objects of that size in the room. None of the team were tired at this point and therefore any paredolia can ruled out. The only possible explanation is that imagination took over and nothing was there at all. There are family portraits around the house but it is not recalled if anyone appears in a painting as described by Dave. The room is perfectly sound and not prone to damp and as such the appearance of a mist as described by Dave, unless illusion too, cannot be accounted for.

The loud tap heard at the same time as the sightings cannot be accounted for and as such cannot be further commented on.

Kim's abdominal pains cannot be explained. She was displaying no discomfort of her own previously and was not afterwards either.

There are no known drafts in the house and none had been experienced before Ian's incident or afterwards. The source cannot be identified and therefore is unexplained.

The further noises that appear on the footage cannot be located after the event and therefore no further comment can be made about their nature.

Session 4

The small amount of noises heard during the final session were similar to those in the above session and therefore the above comments are transferable.


During our stay a certain amount of other information was forthcoming to the team of a clairvoyant nature. As Ghost Connections conducts scientifically based investigations we do not publish such observations, however, this information is held on a separate database and may prove interesting when compared to other peoples experiences. Should you wish to discuss this information please email us.

Camcorder footage, still photographs and voice recorders were later examined and nothing further of note was found. Some of the audible noises were found to be recorded and as such we can be certain that they were not imagined by the team.

Addendum
In light of previous experiences with hearing noises above the paneling in the Drawing Room and although without having turned the lights on for Dave and Paddy's first session on this investigation there was still concern that we were hearing electrical relays or switches as this is what the noises resembled, the team approached the management of Bradbourne House to answer this once and for all. They confirmed that although the paneling itself has been known to make noises in reaction to the heat there are no known electrics above it to cause what we heard. Seeing as we were there in April it is unlikely that there was any great heat adjustment.

We await a further investigation in an attempt to identify the sources of these noises once and for all.

Thanks
Ghost Connections extend their thanks to the Chief Executive and staff of the East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research for allowing us access to investigate Bradbourne House.
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