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The Dog and Partridge - North Stifford, Essex

 

The current public house has a long history through numerous uses and played a small part in a high profile murder case.

Remains indicate that Stifford has been occupied since the Iron Age onwards and had a population of 11 in 1066 increased to 12 in 1086.

The Inn itself was known to be an alehouse in 1757. Originally called Lovelands in the 1579 when Sir Thomas Gurney bought it from Thomas Keighley as leather seller. Gurney was a haberdasher from London and owned a lot of local property. When he died in 1595 he left a wife, seven daughters and a son, Thomas who remained at Lovelands. Thomas became Sheriff of Essex. It later changed to The Clockhouse still reflected in the name Clockhouse Lane opposite. The main 17th Century part of the house was rebuilt in 1934 although a Tudor fireplace and other small remnants remain.

In 1767 'John' was buried having died 'by excessive drinking of Gin, as appeared at the Coroners Inquisition this tenth day of June at the sign of the Dog and Partridge.

 
On Wednesday 13 May 1795 George Errington, a wealthy London barrister, was shot by his former mistress Anne Broadrick in the drawing room of his Grays house. That day Anne had left London and disembarked her coach at the Dog and Partridge and proceeded to wait for Errington as she had previously written a letter to him arranging this meet. He didn't show as he had returned the letter unopened, which she did not know as she had left. After some time she set off on foot to a friends house nearby and asked him to accompany her to Erringtons which he refused and she made her way alone entering the house and shooting Errington in front of his wife. With a documented history of insanity in her family, and based on witness accounts of her character she was found not guilty by the jury as they believed her insane. One can only wonder at how fixed the whole process was as the whole trial only lasted 3 hours and the counsel's for prosecution and defence were friends of the victim Errington.
Background:
Ghost Connections were contacted in April 2009 by the new landlords of the Dog and Partridge, Lyn and Andy Carter, who had become aware of our investigations at a previous public house in Kent via the temporary landlord, and ex-tenant of the previous venue, Simon Howard.

Reports at this venue included a hooded figure being seen in the 'snug', a ghostly boy being seen at the main bar, a fear of entering the extensive cellar area, and senses of a presence in the living quarters upstairs.

All of these reports were made by previous, and currently employed, bar staff. Some of these were interviewed by Ghost Connections. The witnesses were clear about what they had seen at the time and stated they had not been under the influence of anything that would have clouded their judgement or adversely affected their senses.

Both Lyn and Andy kindly agreed to assist Ghost Connections with the investigation in their eagerness to evidence some of the events described above or anything else that should occur.

The Investigation
Apparatus:

Video camera-
Samsung VP-D351 with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR HC-24E with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR-HC19 with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light
Sony DCR-DVD110E with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light

Digital Camera-
Fuji Fine Pix S5000
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Pentax K-100D Digital SLR
Canon EOS400D Digital SLR

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

Other-
Tripods
Torches
Video tapes (MiniDV)
DVD-RW's


Team:
Kim, Ian, Paddy, and Dave

Guests:
Lyn and Andy Carter.

Method:
Through Scientific and methodical experimentation to attempt to record audible and visual evidence of paranormal phenomena to independently support previous sightings or experiences on the evening of the investigation.

Investigation:
With reports of a presence in the master bedroom area upstairs it was the natural place to begin the investigation and would thereby leave Lyn and Andy the chance to go to bed if they tired during the night. As it turned out this was not necessary but we began here all the same. This vigil took place without them and entailed the team placing themselves at various points around the spacial room. It also served to make the team familiar with the natural noises of the first floor in order that these could be compared with anything heard later from this area when downstairs.

It was noted that apart from creaking floorboards if any weight were placed upon them there was no noise within this part of the premise at all. Simon (the only other person on the premise) had gone to bed and the location of his room was known. Any movement within this room and the surrounding area would become apparent and would be noted. Lyn and Andy remained downstairs within the bar area during this time.

The team felt entirely comfortable within the room and nothing was noted by any of them. There were no unexplained noises within the room or without. It was noted that if the team moved in any way the floorboards creaked to some considerable degree within this room. No sounds were caused by anything other than the team itself.

All events within this room were recorded on audio and video simultaneously.

Following this the team went downstairs for a break and discussion with Lyn and Andy. Following this break the team started their investigations on the ground floor.

DVD camera footage was recorded of the main bar area from now on.

Initially all six persons stayed within the 'snug' area and positioned themselves around a table in the centre of the room with the exception of Ian who remained by the bar with a view of the rest of the premises and the rest of the team with Lyn and Andy. We ran in line with our current practice and research based around seances. We do not believe that they can be used as evidence of the paranormal however when we have conducted them we have often found that we record more evidence of both explainable and unexplainable phenomena.

Unusually we found that the bar area made very few noises and some time was spent trying to establish this. The ice machine was the only discernible noise and this was distinct and repeating at regular intervals on a pre-programmed cycle.

A creak was heard by everyone in the team to be in Ian's direction. Asked if it was him he denied it having claimed not to have heard it either. A repeat was requested and was almost instantly forthcoming and on this occasion was heard by Ian also and with the assistance of his location we were able to pin point it to a location behind the bar area. For corroboration a further request was made and it was not repeated. Paddy called out for some other phenomena to be created and again nothing occurred. Shortly after a faint noise was heard in the area of the team. Its precise location could not be ascertained.

Dave heard a noise similar to someone having problems breathing with phlegm in their throat from Kim's direction. Kim denied it was her and no one else heard it.

Paddy observed a shadow type effect at the further end of the public bar area.

Paddy's attention was drawn to the bar and was confirmed by Ian as an area which had been producing clicks over and above the known machinery.

Paddy's attention was also drawn to an area by the team on the floor as was Dave's but their reasoning could not be explained.

Focus then returned to the bar noises and repetition was asked for.

No further responses were forthcoming.

After some time a loud click was heard. Comment was made of this and repetition asked for and nothing so loud was repeated although Paddy and Ian heard something much lighter.

The team then took a break for a short period of time before recommencing in the same location. The recordings continued during the break.


During the break the team went outside for a cigarette and when they returned through the kitchen Dave was the last in. The kitchen has two swing doors, one out into the public area and one direct to behind the bar. When Dave came back into the kitchen the door ahead leading to the public area was swinging shut and thinking the rest of the team had gone through that door he followed only to find no one there. Asking the team if they had used that door they stated they went through the other, and more direct, door.

Session two in the same location then commenced.

All persons were in the same places.

Odd noises began to be heard in the first few minutes.

After a number of odd noises and clicks we suspended the experiment.

During this session Andy witnessed what he described as a red light travel across the window at the side of the premises.

Results
There are no results to discuss from the bedroom area.

In the first session in the bar -

The creak heard by the team was thought initially to have been Ian but bearing in mind that he stated he neither caused it nor heard it this is unlikely. The repeat of the similar noise, which was heard by Ian was not believed to have been caused by the machinery behind the bar although as it was not repeated further remains unexplained and un-locatable.

The shadow type phenomena seen by Paddy was conceded to have possibly been caused by the lights of passing vehicles. We cannot be sure but this is a possible explanation.

The clicks heard behind the bar by Ian were over and above the machinery working but could not be accurately located for natural occurrences to be ruled out.

Paddy could not offer why he surmised that his attention was drawn to a cleaner.

The loud click was caught on video cam footage although the repeat heard by Paddy and Ian was so faint in nature that it was not. We cannot connect the two or provide any explanation for either. The loud one appearing on the footage can be quantified as having not been heard in the previous 45 minutes of that session so cannot be explained.

The door 'incident' at the end of the break is interesting. None of the rest of the team used that door. It is possible that some draught caused by the other door closing caused this one to open and close or vibration caused by the other door however it is not known to occur like this during normal opening hours when people are using these doors. It is not a previously reported phenomena

In the second session -

A number of odd noises were heard although could not be traced or identified.

Outside of the indicated window that Andy saw a red light is a security light with a flashing red indicator light. This may have been responsible for what he saw although he is adamant that it was travelling horizontally.

During our stay a certain amount of other information of a clairvoyant nature was forthcoming. 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.

Conclusions

We had an interesting night at the Dog and Partridge albeit our results were thin on the ground. Some of the noises were recorded and one is included on a clip, on our video page. We feel that the pub has a lot more to offer than was forthcoming on this occasion.
 
Thanks
Ghost Connections would like to thank Simon, Lyn and Andy for their hospitality and enthusiasm in allowing us to investigate reports of phenomena at The Dog And Partridge.
 
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23rd May 2009

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