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St Marys Church Ruins - Eastwell, Kent.

8th February 2014
 

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.

 

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?

  The Investigation
  Apparatus:

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

Digital Camera-
Canon EOS1000D

Voice recorder -

Olympus VH-2100PC

Team:

Graham
Dave

Method:

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

Investigation:

The weather was not ideally suited with occasional strong winds and driving rain as had been experienced for the previous two months. For these reasons no electronic recording equipment would be deployed.

Initially Graham and Dave remained in the car with windows open to get used to the noises occurring. Having got out of the car they remained within the area of the ruins of the nave close to the tower and finally to a point outside the old south porch.

Results
Initially little unusual was noticed.

From the car it was noticed that there was an irregularly occurring noise similar to twigs breaking that altered in frequency of occurrence and amplification.

In an effort to identify the source of this noise Graham and Dave located to the nave and then remained in this area for some time while the weather changed from overcast, to raining, to clouds clearing and moonlit.

Dave described seeing a pale glow illuminating the area of the south east corner of the chancel.

Both Dave and Graham saw an illumination in the area of the altar area.

A reasonably loud bang was heard by both Dave and Graham. Standing with their back to the sealed tower arch Dave believed it came from the tower itself although Graham believed it to have come from the area of the memorial chapel on the south side. Any requests for it to be repeated resulted in nothing.

Graham then saw a flash of light from high above the area of the north wall. This was not immediately repeated.

Graham and Dave then relocated to the south of the church but little occurred and they returned to the car.

From the vantage point of the car the flash that had illuminated the area previously was sighted on a further two occasions.

Conclusions
The sounds heard repeatedly from the car were later identified as being rain water dripping from the spout on the roof of the ruined church tower on the south side. Dropping from altitude it was falling on a gravel base at the foot of the tower in varying depths of water resulting in the different tones that were heard initially.

The first illumination seen by Dave may have been due to refraction of light from rain drops on his spectacle lenses. This cannot be discounted as it was never seen again and the conditions were suitable for this to occur.

The illumination seen by both Dave and Graham was after a rainfall and the area being illuminated by moonlight and identified as a wet flint in the stonework of the ruins being at the right angle to be illuminated by the moon.

The illumination seen by Graham was discussed a length at the time and believed to be lightning. A glance at the sky showed only small amounts of thin cloud through which the moon was clearly visible and shining. Most of the sky was clear at this point. Later it would occur again twice before the team left and when they were in a different vantage point to observe that it was emanating from the sky on these occasions and essentially bright although some distance away. It was deduced to be lightning and was likely to have caused the initial sighting by Graham.

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.

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