Hoghton Tower, in Lancashire, has a reputation as of the most haunted places in England. Regular apparitions include a Black Dog, The Green Lady and a little girl. Visitations and unearthly occurrences are recorded in a ghost file.
Like any place with a long heritage, it’s impossible to separate the myths from verifiable facts. Nobody knows for sure when the site was first occupied, though part of the grounds was used in medieval times for jousting. When King James 1 stayed here for three days in 1617, over-the-top hospitality helped to bankrupt the owner, who was rewarded with several years in London’s Fleet Prison. Lore has it that the straight half mile drive was covered with a carpet of red velvet for the king’s visit.
The de Hoghton family believes their ancestors include the Lady of Godiva and a pal of William The Conqueror. Shakespeare is said to have spent time here, though like most Shakespearean facts, this is informed speculation. Charles Dickens definitely visited, though he didn’t see the estate at its best as it had been let out to local farmers, who neglected it. His impressions appear in one of his last short stories George Silverman’s Explanation:
A house, centuries old, deserted and falling to pieces, its woods and gardens long since grassland or ploughed up, the Rivers Ribble and Darwen glancing below it…
These days it has been restored, as you can see in the picture above. One of the best reasons to visit is the farmer’s market which takes place every third Sunday in the month. Visitors can stay on site in The Irishman’s Tower and enjoy the hillside views.
Hoghton Tower, Hoghton, Near Preston, Lancashire PR5 0SH
Telephone: 01254 852986
Shared for Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge.