St Briavels Castle, Gloucestershire
Date: Friday 30th October 2020
Time: 8.30pm-2.30am (Optional Sleepover Included)
Dating back to the 12th century, St Briavels Castle, Gloucestershire, is rumored to be one of England’s most haunted castles.
Very few visitors have left this dark and eerie location without reporting some kind of unusual activity from within it’s walls.
The sound of children crying along with an armoured soldier have been spotted roaming around the many dark corridors inside this epic location – Could one of them be responsible for touching unsuspecting visitors whilst they sleep?
With a plethora of paranormal tales to back up it’s extensive and brutal history, St Briavels Castle should surely be on the bucket list of all you fearless ghost hunters.
St Briavels Castle was in royal possession by the 1160s and was rebuilt, with the small but impressive keep, by Henry II (r.1154–89). The Forest of Dean was important for another reason – it was one of the centres of the medieval iron industry, small scale by present day standards but a vital source of supply for the manufacture of weapons, especially crossbow bolts. The crossbow was the favourite weapon of the mercenaries who were employed in considerable numbers by Henry’s son, King John (r.1199–1216), who built a new hall (now vanished) and an elaborate chamber block at St Briavel’s.
In spite of this, John only visited St Briavel’s five times in the course of seventeen years, staying no more than eleven days altogether. John’s son, Henry III, also visited the castle from time to time, adding a small chapel to his father’s house. By this time the castle was functioning more as an administrative headquarters and workshop than a stronghold.
Under Edward I (r.1272–1307), thousands of crossbow bolts were produced at the castle in preparation for the king’s Welsh and Scottish campaigns. Edward took care to ensure that his arsenal was well protected, adding the massive twin-towered gatehouse to the castle in 1292.
With the conquest of Wales completed by the end of the 15th century, the castle’s importance declined rapidly and unused buildings were demolished in 1680.
The gatehouse later became a prison where those accused of committing offences within the forest area were held while awaiting trial.
A number of prisoners’ inscriptions remain which testify to the unwholesomeness of the gaol but the legend that criminals were hanged from the battlements seems unlikely. Fines were a far more profitable form of punishment – or mutilation, which served as a public reminder of the consequences of breaking the king’s law.
The keep collapsed in 1752, by which time the great hall had also been demolished, and the east tower collapsed in 1777 destroying the adjoining buildings.
The castle was still being used as a debtors’ prison until 1842. After centuries of neglect and decay, the surviving buildings were restored and rendered habitable at the turn of the 20th century.
Reported Paranormal Activity:
There are many and ghostly tales from this historic castle, including, the sound of a crying baby in the solar room. During renovations to the ceiling of this room, the wrapped up corpse of a baby fell from the rafters, leading many to believe it’s this baby that can be heard so often.
Poltergeist activity has also been reported within the castles prison along with the sound of marbles dropping and deep humming within the castles hanging room.
Dark figures have also been witnessed, often standing in doorways and even blocking people’s escape route.
Visitors who have braved an overnight stay inside the castle have reported being touched by unseen hands during the middle of the night – Fabulous, right?!
Your overnight ghost hunt at St Briavels Castle includes:
- Vigils led by experienced investigators
- An equipment demonstration before the investigation begins
- Full use of our vast array of paranormal equipment
- Refreshments, Tea/coffee & cakes
- Lone vigils at the end of the night
- Optional Sleepover after the investigation (See below)
Important factors to consider before booking:
This event may be unsuitable for people with mobility impairments due to the nature of the property being visited. Please call to check anything you might be unsure about before booking your tickets.
This event includes an optional sleepover. You will be expected to confirm before the event whether or not you intend to sleepover once the investigation has finished. The rooms are dormitory style which means guests will be expected to share rooms. Group bookings will be kept together.
All sleepover guests will need to check out on Saturday 31st October by 11am.
All remaining balances for this event will be due by Friday 2nd October 2020.