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A Quiet Place - Hellens Manor

Damp, drizzly cold really brought the place to life. Driving through Much Marcle, Fred and Rose West country, promised much, but whether or not we'd accidentally got on the wrong tour, little is made of the reputation of Hellens Manor being one of the most haunted houses in Britain. However we did get an hour and a half walking tour of the Manor with a competent guide who really knew her stuff.

Stretching building regulations as far back as the medieval period, there are some truly ugly additions to the main house where, over a cup of tea and a microwave heated slice of lemon drizzle cake, we took in some very large depressing oil paintings which (in true Scooby Doo style) the eyes followed us unnervingly around the room.

There were rumours of hangings and judicial punishments in the courtyard ouside as we nosed into room after room of dry, dusty and musty walls replete with leather wallpaper, Anne Boleyn's comb in a glass cabinet juxtaposed with Mick Jagger's platform shoe (only one, mind) on the mantelpiece.

In the downstairs drawing rooms, Van Dijks and Hogarths hang alongside Gainsboroughs and Goyas in this most disjointed and bizarre art gallery treasure trove.

And so nothing notably paranormal, nothing to excite Most Haunted's Yvette Fielding into squealing paroxysms of fear. Manifestations were absent, even inside Queen Mary Tudor's 4 poster bedchamber. Crammed woth books, paintings and tapestries, together with a very brief mention of a potential priests hole above the ceiling. The weary but quiet outdoors offer a maze and a Poison herb garden. There's quiet and there's quiet, but the dank, solemn air in and around Hellens Manor makes this an unexpectedly uncomfortable Quiet Place.

@2024 Dave Fletcher

Photo - Dave Fletcher

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