Haunted: Raynham Hall, East Raynham, Norfolk
Stewart | On 01, Jul 2017
The Haunting of Raynham Hall
If you head north out of East Raynham along the A1065 you’ll come across the impressive gates of Raynham Hall on your left.
This magnificent country house is over four hundred years old and is the home of the Townshend family.
Raynham Hall is infamous for its Brown Lady ghost.
In September 1936 a photographer working for Country Life magazine called Captain Hubert C Provand was taking photographs for the magazine at the hall.
Provand had already taken one photograph of the hall’s main staircase and was setting up for another shot when his assistant Indre Shira noticed an apparition of a woman manifesting on the stairs in front of them.
Provand quickly took a shot resulting in probably one of the most infamous ghost photographs of all time…
The photograph of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall!
So who exactly was the Brown Lady and how did she get her name?
Well the Brown Lady is said to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole who was the sister of Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole.
She’s referred to as the Brown Lady because in the infamous photograph taken by Provand she’s said to be wearing a brown brocade dress.
In 1726, she sadly died of smallpox at Raynham Hall at the age of 40.
She’s connected to the hall because she was the second wife of Charles Townshend.
Legend says that he had a terrible temper and when he discovered that his wife had an affair with Lord Wharton he locked her in her apartment at the hall.
Now local rumours said that Lady Walpole didn’t die of smallpox but of a broken neck after she was pushed down the staircase!
The first sighting of the Brown Lady at Raynham Hall happened in 1835 during a Christmas gathering.
Colonel Loftus, together with another guest, witnessed the Brown Lady near their bedrooms.
In 1836, the author Captain Frederick Marryat spent three nights at the hall.
On the third night he came across the Brown Lady in one of the hall’s corridors where he attempted to shot her through the face…
The ghostly apparition just disappeared into thin air right in front of him!
In 1926, Lady Townsend’s son and his friend were scared witless when they witnessed the Brown Lady on the staircase.
King George IV was the most famous person to witness the Brown Lady.
He was sleeping in the State Bedroom one night when he was rudely awoken by a ghostly apparition of a woman dressed in brown with a pale face and messy hair…
It’s said that he left the hall rather quickly after his ghostly encounter!
Since the infamous Country Life photograph by Provand in 1936 there haven’t been any reported sightings of the Brown Lady at the Hall.
This is probably a good thing as some people believe that a sighting of the Brown Lady is a warning that death will fall upon the owner of Raynham Hall!
In 1950, on the road between South Raynham and East Raynham a ghostly apparition of a woman was seen…
She was described as wearing a brown dress and having empty eye sockets!
Was this the Brown Lady from the nearby Raynham Hall?
I’ll let you decide.
The Brown Lady isn’t the only ghost to be reported wandering around Raynham Hall…
The spirit of the Duke of Monmouth is rumoured to haunts one of the hall’s bedrooms.
And, a little girl in a frock is said to haunt the Stone Parlour whilst spooked visitors to the hall have sworn that they have heard the sounds of a dog running up and down the hall’s corridors!
Frank Meeres (2010) Paranormal Norfolk. Amberley