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St.Marys Church, Eastwell, Kent

23rd October 2011
 


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 church was not, as popularly recorded, destroyed by a bomb in the war, but undoubtedly weakened by the army tank maneuvers 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.

 

 

The West Tower and Walls at Dusk

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 especially in the light of a corroborated witness account sent to us recently:

Approx time: 10.30 to 11.30pm

It was in October 2010 on a Friday I believe.

We had parked in the little car park opposite the church. The car was facing towards the church and we were sat in the car with the lights on as it was dark and we so we could see what was around us. As we were mid conversation we heard what sounded like someone running past the front of the car from the right to the left on the road. We both heard it and was looking to see if perhaps someone had run past us but there was no one there. It was so clear, and we even tested it ourselves to see if was the sound of footsteps that we heard, and the sound was pretty much exactly the same. Except the footsteps we heard we slightly heavier.

A little while later we were outside the car talking and I decided to walk a little way down the road in the direction of the bridge over the lake when I heard what sounded like a car or a horse and cart coming fast towards me. I jumped out of the road thinking that a car was coming towards me but there was nothing there. It sounded like it was coming down the road in our direction. I turned to my friend who had heard the exact same thing like it came straight past him. We got back in the car and left pretty quickly as we were spooked out.

Yet another report of the ghostly carriage?

Apparatus:

Video camera-
Sony DCR HC-62E with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR-DVD110E with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light

Digital Camera-
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-38
Fuji Finepix S1600

Voice recorder -
Olympus DM20
Olympus VH-2100PC

Team:

Kim
Paddy
Dave

Guest:
Travis

Method:

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

Investigation:

As normal at St Mary's we spent some time wandering the site to get a feel for where we wanted to sit.

After some time we settled outside of the south porch. After moving around a little we would also return here later on.

Results
Initially little unusual was noticed.

Dave and Travis made occasional glances towards the bushes behind the team forming the western boundary of the churchyard. Both had the feeling of being watched.

Eventually curiosity would get the better of them and team relocated to the western boundary and discuss their feelings.

Stopping near the trees by the west door there are sounds of sticks breaking and items falling.

Paddy sees small lights within the trees.

The air of anticipation was building just as the teams investigation was interrupted by the suspicious movements of a car in the lane by them.

Once satisfied that the visitors had gone the team resumed by the west door and nothing else occurred.

The team then returned to the area by the porch.

After some time Paddy and Travis both commented on a sound similar to horses hooves on hard ground coming from the lane. These were not heard by Kim or Dave.

After a short while all the team heard a noise they described as horses hooves coming to a stop on the lane only a short distance from them.

Conclusions
The initial feeling of being watched may well be due to the surroundings and stories and without any corroborative evidence cannot be commented upon.

The sounds of sticks breaking might well have been animals in the area of the trees, although none were seen and the ground was clearly visible. No other sounds of animal movement were heard. The sound of pigeons defecating in the tower has been heard before as it falls and hits the tiles floor of the tower and this may have caused the noise of items falling as it was reasonably close to the team. Both these sounds may well have a natural explanation.

The lights are interesting. Aside from a very small light on a gate post in the opposite direction there are no lights in the area at all. The area is not subject to distant headlamps as are some places that we investigate. We are familiar with the appearance of glow worms and see them often and so it is unlikely that any lights were confused with these creatures. We have no explanation for what was seen.

Probably the most interesting events were the sound of horses hooves. We have visited St Mary's so often and never heard this before. Horses and carriages are a familiar story from here and had we got these accounts in our mind then it could be said that we imagined it. It is unlikely we imagined it twice and in any case we had never heard anything like it before in our investigations here. When checked, on both occasions, there was nothing in the lane or immediate vicinity that could have been responsible for such a sound. What we heard remains completely unexplained and for once could we have actually heard a repeat of what other people had seen or heard before at this exact spot.

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.

An incredibly interesting, if short lived, investigation which will, undoubtedly lead to our return in the near future to explore St Mary's again.

     
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