A Manor House, you would expect, comes with a history. And when you know your house dates back to 1785 you would imagine it to be a rich and varied one.
We had been told, by more than one source that there was rumor of a Ghost at the Manor house. Now of course we took this with a pinch or salt, a tale made up to scare children from going near it maybe or just an interesting fable told by a dad to his son to at Halloween.
The tale is that of a young boy, no more the 12, who lived at the Manor House back in the early 1900’s. He was a keen cricketer and full of life. It was told that one day he began to feel unwell, developing a cough which in turn led to a serious cold. His mother, the owner of the Manor House at the time, kept him at home in his room to recover, but unfortunately he deteriorated and developed pneumonia.
You have to remember that back in the early 1900’s pneumonia was one of the leading causes of death, worse than tuberculosis. We were in a time that predated penicillin and so the prognosis was not good, and it was a disease that was rightly feared.
He was moved to one of the smaller rooms in the manor house, for isolation, a room kept cold and chilly to help with the feverish symptoms the boy suffered with, but to keep his spirits up the room was decorated with all his cricket kits and various cricket memorabilia.
He was locked in the room, to prevent him wandering deliriously through the house and causing injury to himself and possible infection to other members of the household.
The story continues that despite the best efforts of family and local doctors, the young boy died in that room, unable to leave the locked space and that his spirit still resides within the house, and has been seen wandering though the hallways dressed in cricket whites, and often, in the quieter moments of the night, one can sometimes hear the soft sound of leather on willow. His final room, has ever since been said to be unreasonably cold all year round despite all efforts to give it warmth.
Now, in all honesty, we took this tale as nothing more than pure hokum! We have never really noticed that the particular room in question was any warmer or colder than any other. It was indeed a small room, with a very small fireplace and large sash window which could explain any temperature fluctuation.
However we has begun research into the history of the Manor house and we can confidently say we have traced its owners back to 1883.
The house was purchased in 1883 by James Gibson who was working abroad in Egypt and bought the property for is recently Widowed Mother and his Grandmother.
James had a daughter Catherine Mary Gibson who married John William Clayton in 1892 and they resided at the Manor House. They had 3 Children Violet Clayton, Winfred Ianthe Clayton and a boy, Kenrick Clayton.
Now the interesting bit is that Kenrick Clayton was born in March 1896 and died on February 13 1909.
More interesting still was the picture we found, a portrait painted of the young boy in his cricket whites!