Monday 3rd June 2013
This story has many variations from many countries. the basics remaining the same. My story although it was attached to the Isle of Wight, I could easily have adapted it to a place in my old home village of Brockenhurst. There is at least two places I can think of.
Way back in 1821, George Maurice Bisset, the owner of the most grandest mansions to be seen, in a fit of temper he set fire to it and burnt it to the ground. This was because he did not want his daughter to inherit. This was because she had the temerity to marry a clergyman without her fathers consent. All that was left of the mansion now are two gateposts standing at the end of the long drive.
A hundred years later in the 1920s me as a young man was walking the road enjoying the scene, and making notes for my blogging stories. It was very cold night, and it was getting late. and I thought it time to try and find a room for the night. As I went I came upon two gateposts with heraldic beasts on top of them. I was so impressed, and, given it being New Years Eve, I wondered if I could a nights shelter here.
I walked down the drive, and saw that there were lights ablaze in every window of the mansion, and sounds of gaiety and laughter: there was a great party going on. It was obviously a fancy dress, because of the men wore powdered wigs and women were resplendent in their Georgian dresses.
I banged on the front door and on the windows, but could not get any attention. After a period I gave up: but I was half way up the drive when I thought I would go back and try again. As I turned, a black carriage pulled by four black horses came thundering down the drive from the house towards me: I flung myself into a ditch to avoid being trampled beneath the hooves. I was so shaken, bruised and very angry, that I decided not to return.
I later found a room in the village in a small, quaint lodging house. When I was talking to the landlady about my experience, she told me that the house was long gone: it had been knocked down in her great – grannies time.
The next day I decided to go back, and found nothing but an overgrown drive with two old gateposts at the entrance. There were no heraldic beasts on the gateposts, no house. All he could see was a field, a tumbledown barn an old orchard, and a tangle of weeds. If you have nothing better to do on a New Years eve, then pop along to this party.
Courtesy of Folk Tales by Michael O’leary
Look out for my forth coming post ‘Apple Tree #2’……….