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St.Mary's - Eastwell, Kent

 

St. Mary's Church at Eastwell has the classic 'Haunted Ruin' appearance of Gothic legend.

Steeped in history the church dates from the 14th Century and now only consists of the western walls and tower, along with the old south porch and fragments of the east and south walls.

In 1555 the burial register records the burial of Richard Plantagenet, reputed to be the surviving son of Richard III who escaped the carnage of Bosworth Field to live his life as a recluse on the Eastwell Estate.

The same century saw the opening of a vault under the south chancel that would lead to the internment of members of the Finch family. Members of the Royal Courts their splendid memorial is now removed from its plinth to the Victoria and Albert Museum along with the later 'White Lady' memorial of Emily Georgiana Countess of Winchilsea who passed in her life of tragedy as a Kleptomaniac ending early.

 


The "Finch" memorial

The church was not, as popularly recorded, destroyed by a bomb in the war, but undoubtedly weakened by the army tank manouveurs in the park combined with water soaked up by the churches chalk structure since the 40 acre lake was built next to it in the 1840's it crumbled in 1951 with what is described as a terrible roar by a witness who saw the collapse.

West wall of church and 'White Lady' Chapel

 

    The Investigation
    Aim:

To investigate reports of paranormal activity at St. Mary's Church.

 

Background:

Ghost Connections previous visits were of interest and prompted a return visit.

Read our last report here.

Various accounts exist of this location which are verified as actual witnesses and not the usual folk tale that exists at other locations.

Lake House is reported to be the haunted location of a monk and the lane past the church has seen a horse and carriage driven by a male in a polka dot bow tie.

Would any of the above make themselves known or would the nature of the place in itself lead the imagination wild?

Would the previously heard horrific noise or unsettled wildfowl be evident again?


Apparatus:

Video camera-
Sony DCR-HC19 with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light


Digital Camera-
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Fuji Fine Pix S5500

Voice recorder -
Olympus DM20
Olympus VH-2100PC


Team:

Kim
Paddy
Dave


Method:

Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual information investigate the background to alleged paranormal phenomena at this venue.


Investigation:

As per the previous investigation the team first placed themselves in the area where the nave would have stood. We sat so as to have a view all around us and recorded all events. It was a bright and starry night .

The rear gates to the manor house were open and traffic was using this entrance. We believe this could have been through collaboration with the local constabulary as the road to Challock was blocked by police vehicles when we arrived and traffic was being turned around at Eastwell gates at Kennington. It is likely that vehicles arriving for a function were being routed via this rear entrance. This would mean an increase in traffic movement, noise and lights. These would all be visible from where we were though so could be catered for in our observations.

Initially the local natural sounds were taken in and apart from the odd movement there was very little noise from the lake.

After a period of silence sounds of movement were heard coming from the area of the old south porch (chapel of the white lady). These sounds were sporadic and despite us going to the area nothing could be identified to be responsible.

After some time spent trying to identify the source of this noise we took a break.

During this break we were in the car park by the road and observed car lights illuminating a large number of bats flying along the course of the access road. It was also observed that for a short period of time after a car passed through that 'orb' type phenomena appeared in any photographs taken. The road was dirty and dust was thrown up by the cars.

Once all the traffic died down Paddy and Dave saw bright lights illuminate the tops of the trees near the church and then one bright light streak across the field to the north of the church within the grounds of the manor. There was great speculation as to the cause of this which defied all explanations.

A further vigil was then staged in the same position as before within the old area of the nave. Intermittent noises were heard from within the tower. The tower at St Mary's is secured with heavy locked doors to prevent any human access.

A further break was then called and upon return we attempted an experiment with a séance in the same area. Dave was drawn to movement near the south side of the nave by seeing a person moving towards the tower. At the same time Paddy was fixated by a sensation of movement in the same area and Dave would also note a sense of a person moving about by the site of the old 'Finch' vault..

Noises were noted by Kim in the undergrowth to the south side of the nave by the white lady chapel.

After a spell of nothing else being noted and the investigation concluded.

    Results
   

The difference between photographs taken with no traffic on the rear access road and those just after a car had gone past are dramatic as can be seen below. The appearance of the 'orb' phenomena is pronounced and certainly due to the dust thrown up by the car as opposed to any suggestion of ghostly presence.

 


The noises heard within various parts of the old church were likely to be pigeons in the tower or rodents within any part of the structure and those in the undergrowth likely to be rodents or birds.

The lights which confounded us to start with may well be due to the searchlight equipped vehicle used by security within the hotel grounds. If projected from the highgound within the estate it is possible that we wouln't see the light source but be able to see the projecton of it on other objects.


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

Still photographs and voice recorders were later examined and nothing of note was found other than the sound described previously. Recordings of this may appear on our seperate pages later.

    Conclusions
Not the most noteworthy night but it allowed us to investigate what could be a light anomaly responsible for similar sightings at other venues if security are similarly equipped near other sites.
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26th April 2008

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