The Ford House, also known as The Ford Manor and previously St. Julians and St. Julyans in some spellings. Is a property of historical significance and importance dating from the early 1400s in Surrey, England. Situated in the small village of Chobham it is also reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in the entire of the country, making it of interest to paranormal research as well as history. The house boasts a charnel house from its days as a monastery, underground network of tunnels and Jacobean wood Pannelling as well as many boarded up rooms. Many books have been written on the topic the supposed hauntings, and many famous people from history have lived here. "Digressions" by Stephen Coleridge is the most famous of these. Stephen Coleridge whose father was First baron John Coleridge Was the most noteworthy person to have lived in the house. But other owners/visitors of the property have included Anne Boleyn (1501–1536), Hume the famous philosopher(1711–1776), Lord Byron (1788–1824), Stephen Coleridge (1854–1936) Mary Catherine (one of the Caldwell family) (1870) Michael Woodley Baron of Menie and Balquhain. (1944-)
The building itself dates back to the 1400s, though it's origins are otherwise completely unknown. Stephen Coleridge had the British museums records ransacked to no avail. What is clear though is that it was originally the refectory and had tunnels leading to Chertsey Abbey.
The Hauntings: The house itself is meant to have many different ghosts, some have stories and some do not. To the best of my knowledge I will list the known ones below.
The ghost of Anne Boleyn's hand maiden - Around 1533 Henry the 8th gave the property as a gift to his new Queen Anne Boleyn, unfortunately one of her handmaidens met an untimely fate when the young girl drowned in the ford at the back of the property. It is said her ghost still wanders the gardens.
The monks lover - When the house was still a refectory and monastery a young woman fell in love with one of the Monks. This sort of love was forbidden and once it was discovered the poor girl was buried alive in the walls of the house. Her bones were discovered in the 1700s. It is said the ghost of the monk also wanders the house looking for his loved one.
The wailing woman - No one knows why this particular entity haunts the house, but at night it is said you can hear a woman wailing, clearly distinguishable from the wailing of the winds.
The wicked uncle - A wicked Uncle murdered his two nephews by drowning them in the ford in order to gain their inheritance. The two young boys have both been seen walking the gardens looking very lost.
The black shadow - Could possibly be the monk, but the black shadow of a man has been seen many times inside the house on the second floor in the old library.
The curse of the house - It is said by the people in the village of Chobham that no individual can live more than 3 years in the house without mysteriously dying at the end of that period. Only three families have ever survived this curse, Stephen Coleridge (though he did become sick in Cardiff on his 3rd year and the people of chobham felt surely he would die, but he did not and resided at the house until his death at old age) Michael Woodley baron of Menie and his family (they resided there 17 years) and the current family (have resided there 7 years)
The two black dogs - in the early 80s two black dogs ran into the property, all the way to the 3rd floor and threw themselves out of the window to their deaths. The village took it as a bad omen, and the ghosts of the dogs are said to now haunt the property.
The China Bell. On the roof of the house sits an ancient bell from a Chinese ship wreck, it is said the bell rings in times of great danger or peril. The last time it is noted to have rang by itself was before 9/11
Boarded up room/chapel - on the second floor there is a boarded up room behind Jacobean wood paneling, behind this one can see stained glass, could possibly be a chapel.
The Ford house is also home to many secret tunnels, and has also been the subject of many paintings.
Links: history of Chobham village 18C onwards containing information about the manor house: http://www.chobham.info/18c.htm http://www.moleseyhistory.co.uk/books/surrey/boyleFarm/hatton/index.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Coleridge (painting of the ford by Marguerite Howarth)
- ↑ Coleridge, Stephen, Digressions, pp. 152
|This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (May 2012)|
- Coleridge, Stephen (1925), Digressions, Mills & Boon, pp. 152, http://books.google.com/books/about/Digressions.html?id=1980AAAAMAAJ
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