Posts Tagged ‘Clifton Manor’

Podcast notes

In the last installment for this series I have reviewed Lee Roberts and the Parasearch Radio, I made notes against the information on the last two posts I made about Clifton Hall. It was uploaded to youtube in 2008 and if you want a far more in-depth listen, I have linked it below.  The first thing I will say is that I listened to the beginning and wondered if this was really my kind of listen, but I did enjoy it overall. They go over the history of the hall and the presenter has clearly spent time going into the past, even noting that Gervase Clifton had seven wives, and all died young, she said even for the time it was a lot.

Percy Clifton’s history was touched on, last Lord of the Manor, he lost his eldest son Gervase Ronald Bruce on the HMS Mommouth. Supporting information can be found here – https://secure.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/RollOfHonour/People/Details/9543 and was a young midshipman, at 15 it seems a sad loss of life, along with the other 735 crew that went down with the ship when it sank.

Along with this the rumours and hauntings from the Grammar school years are discussed noting that the rumours of hauntings do indeed go further back.

After this Lee Roberts is introduced who explained that at the time, they were trying to get TAPIT noticed and their name out there as an investigation team. He explains that the PA for Anwar Rashid contacted them to invite them in and they clearly wanted to go, Roberts says that they scheduled it for a three night visit where they could take some baseline readings for humidity, room temperature and air temperature. He goes on to say that there was a scenario where he got lost in a way he never should have, he left the nursery and went down a straight hallway then got turned around back into it, he could give no explanation about how it happened.

He references another event, there is a black and white chequered room that they went into and Roberts says the whole floor was covered in wasps. He turned to his brother-in-law and said they needed to get their cameras and record it all, they passed Rashid’s brother, they told him, and all went back to the room. When they got there the room was clear, there was no sign of a wasp in sight. Roberts says it took only 30 seconds but even if it was slightly longer than that it would surely have meant some evidence of them was left, even a straggler? It turns out that this was not a one-off thing, but they also found out that the wasps were never seen anywhere but that room.

Remember I mentioned the winding staircase? Well Roberts brought that up as well, they discuss King Charles and that the team had radio’s on them to communicate, over the radio Roberts heard “we know you’re alone in there,” which he explained was female and they checked locally for baby monitors or anything that could have come to the same channel but found nothing, a year late when he went back the same voice came over and said “so, you’ve come back again?” and they had no explanation for it.

The maid and her death are discussed too, they say a local witness talked about seeing a figure of a woman by the cliff and that the person had disappeared when they turned around. Roberts says that the team did not witness this, but they do muse about the subject of this as it is accepted that historically richer men would have affairs with their servants and the bi-product of unwanted – bastard- children was a reality. These scandals would result in women trying to self-terminate children or they must be secreted away to have them elsewhere.

It loosely linked into the story of the bricked-up room/wall and I think Roberts provides some better context about how this all came around. In the cellar they found that Rashid’s family stored boxes and belongings, also in there were some gargoyles and objects from the church along with an area that had been bricked up in the past that may be the tunnel to the church. It was reported that there were the sounds of scratching and of cries from behind it, realistically he points out that even if they wanted to sledgehammer the wall to find out more this was not going to happen and it was far to expensive to destroy the old wall.  Roberts goes on to explain that they did contact the local church and attempt to get information on the tunnel, but they got no reply. He does say that I was not unusual as many of the churches don’t want these teams coming in or making local sensations of them.

A year later Anwar Rashid contacted Roberts again to ask him to come back, he said that the situation had escalated to physical attacks leaving scratches and bruises. They had a priest come in who had left them prayers to print out and put around the house, the family had nailed them up high in all the rooms and it had not helped at all. He states that on the second visit it was a more active site, and this is where the Dark Mansions statement must have come in as well, he says that one of the team got scratched, another saw a reflection in the mirror and that two members passed out. Roberts says that this was the only time he had stopped an investigation and got the team back together through safety fears.

So here is a loose timeline I was able to make

Jan 2007 house is purchased

June 2007 the family moved in

August 2007 TAPIT call in the first time

August 2008 TAPIT go in the second time

October 2008 the family leaves.

Lee Roberts and his team had planned to put all their recordings and notes together ready to present to Anwar Rashid, he had heard nothing more from them and then one day he got a call from a newspaper for a quote. I rather liked that Lee Roberts made no hidden fact about the fact he enjoyed media attention and that he said he was happy to discuss it until he realised that they were after a sensational story about it all, at the time he was a police officer and was told by the force that he would need to remember this and keep it all professional so he held back from too much attention on himself.

Anwar Rashid gave some statements at the time, then he went media silent. This to me came across as quite a good point in the recanting of the events, the man didn’t want to make more money from it or bring his family more attention as he was more concerned about his family and their welfare. He mentioned that they also had a few things that were discussed like a little boy that appeared around a curtain and then could not be found, along with there being an elderly man’s ghost in the headmasters room but Anwar Rashid wanted to enter the tale no further. Lee Roberts say they keep in touch, but the subject of the Hall is not one to bring up, instead it is about how things are now.

I think there is a lot of interesting reading in Clifton Hall and the church, it is a small pocket in Nottinghamshire and has kept me busy reading for a while now! I hope you like the write up and that you find the subject interesting. I also hope you like my deep dives now and then as I do enjoy bringing more to the tale than a few tea-break paragraphs. Thank you also if you read all of this and if you want to offer any comments, I always enjoy seeing feedback.

Sources:

Wikipedia                            savills.com                                          History of Nottinghamshire, Vol 1

Telegraph.co.uk                mysteriousbritain.co.uk                nottsalgia.com

Haunted rooms                 theparanormalguide.com            Clifton-vollage.org.uk

Paranormaldatabase.com            Dark Mansions – Dinah Williams

BBC News                           kids.kiddle.co                                    officialleeroberts.com

Google                                 Fortean Times                                   alchetron.com/chek-whyte

Paranormal Network      Find A Grave                                      Parasearch Radio

Sky News                             nottinghamshistory.org.uk          The Clifton Book 1906. Rev Rosslyn Bruce

Carrying on from Part One. 

In January 2007 Anwar Rashid brought Clifton Hall for £3.6 million, he had made his money from nursing homes in Dubai and by no means had to worry about finance (and still does not I believe). The pan was to use the Hall for both living and wedding events. 8 months later, the story goes, the family left the property, defaulted the mortgage and refused to go back. He had called in a local paranormal team and said that he had found blood marks on a quilt that was being used for his 18-month-old son, a the time it was quoted like he felt like it was the film “The Others” (side note – not a bad film!)

T.A.P.I.T (The Ashfield Paranormal Investigation Team) based in Sutton in Ashfield were formed in 2006, by Lee Roberts. I listened to an interview he did with at Parasearch Radio and I will go into that in the last part of this little series but before that lets recap and look into more of this story.

Anwar Rashid brought the property, he already had a 25 million fortune and brought the 52 room Hall with 17 bedrooms, a gym, cinema, 10 reception rooms and 10 bathrooms. At the time he was a 32-year-old businessman, with a 25-year-old wife, three daughters and two sons.

He brought the Hall in January 2007, from day one they believed it could be haunted as they said on the  first evening he heard a voice “is anyone there?” but could find no source and so tried to ignore it, he said that it was a man’s voice and that was not the only time they heard it. Nabila Rashid (his wife) saw her eldest daughter watching television at 5am downstairs, she went upstairs only find that she was asleep in her own bed. They also say that some of their family and friends outright refused to stay there to.

May 2007 – the planned license for marriage ceremonies was refused by the council but that didn’t stop them coming up with ideas for other uses on a commercial level.

Stories and dates are quite ambiguous because when I breakdown dates you may find they seem messy and I want to acknowledge that. One report says they left in August 2008 but TAPIT says they left in October 2008 as an example. On report says they stopped paying the bills in January 2008 but that doesn’t fit if they defaulted and left 18th September 2008 when Yorkshire Bank reclaimed the Hall. I believe that this would seem fairer as it coincided with the idea of them handing the keys in during August 2008bu either way they had defaulted and gone in 2008.

21st September 2008, Sky News covered the story, “Millionaire Flees Haunted Mansion”.

“When people used to tell me about ghosts, I would never believe them, and they would say ‘whatever!’. But I would have to tell any new owner that it was haunted having experienced it.”

Darren Brookes, manager at a security firm that used to manage Hall security also supported this view, “a monk walking through the grounds, a woman in the graveyard falling over, and chairs moving in one of the rooms”.

Dark Mansions – “During their stay, the family called paranormal investigators, but these experts could not drive the spirits from the house. In fact, two investigators, fainted after seeing the ghost of a boy”.

This is mentioned in the Parasearch podcast but outside of that I found collecting ‘evidence’ to be more rumours etc but not actual fact or evidence, however TAPIT have not released anything else I could find and I believe it is because Lee Roberts is planning to write a book on the matter and probably holding it all back for that reason.

Another small side note of interest that I found; it was mentioned about rumours of a heart in a casket at the church. The church has not precise date of founding so it was possible that the site was used for worship and predates the church being erected, again the earliest notation comes from the Domesday book, but we can likely designate the transition to a Christian church being around 1150, but before 1200. If you like local church history, I think this would be for you, but I am concentrating on the rumour of the heart.

The Clifton Book – 1906 says that the south side doorway is dated 1632 and opens into the Clifton vault.  There are 25 coffins noted in the book and he states that resting among them is the small leaden casket, he says that from the size and shape it “doubtless” contained a heart, this heart was believe to be from Sir William Clifton, a crusader. There is another mention – 1790 report by Throsby, saying that there was a lead coffin shaped to receive the head and shoulders, for Sir Gervase Clifton who was beheaded after the Battle of Tewkesbury but he did not see it himself.  I think there is genuine merit to the rumour and whilst it won’t be possible to confirm as the vault is going to be tended, and fortunately preserved, by the incumbent clergy it is highly probably this exists.

 The last part of this series is going to be write up of what I listened to, the notes I made and a link to that podcast. Overall, I found it very hard to get enough footage, pictures or further information supporting all the local rumours and events. I don’t dismiss that there have been multiple experiences, but I cannot find you anything more than those reports. BUT I hope you liked the deep dive and you like my photos from a wintery Nottingham village.

                  
         
Sources: 

Wikipedia                            savills.com               History of Nottinghamshire, Vol 1

Telegraph.co.uk                mysteriousbritain.co.uk                nottsalgia.com

Haunted rooms                 theparanormalguide.com            Clifton-vollage.org.uk

Paranormaldatabase.com            Dark Mansions – Dinah Williams

BBC News                           kids.kiddle.co                                    officialleeroberts.com

Google                                 Fortean Times                                   alchetron.com/chek-whyte

Paranormal Network      Find A Grave                                      Parasearch Radio

Sky News                             nottinghamshistory.org.uk          The Clifton Book 1906. Rev Rosslyn Bruce


The Manor/Hall of Clifton is located near the city of Nottingham, the manor now known as Clifton Hall, and for the ease of reading will just be Hall in this blog, was mentioned in the Domesday Book, 1086 and is located at the back of the River Trent and is a Grade I listed building. There is a cliff overlooking the river and in the 1086 Domesday book is noted as being at the top of a hill at the cliff edge of Clifton Village, most likely as this made it a more easily defendable position and is described as a fortified tower house.

It was listed as three stories high and was remodelled in the 18th Century in the Georgian style of architecture. It was largely done between 1778-1797 by Sir Gervase Clifton, he employed architect John Carr of York, it was here that the original house was predominantly demolished. The original domed Hall, built by Sir Robert Clifton was saved and used, the south Hall in Carr’s work and the north wing is of a later date.

The de Clifton family had brought the property from the de Rhodes in the 13th century. In 1896 Sir Harvey Juckes Lloyd Bruce succeeded Henry Robert Clifton. The early Bruce years at Clifton are recorded in the book Silken Dalliance (1946) written by Henry James Bruce. In the 1940’s Lieutenant Colonel Peter Thomas Clifton started to sell off the property and the Hall was sold in 1958, this ended 700 years of the Clifton family ownership.

In 1958 Clifton Hal’s Grammar school for girls opened, for girls aged 11- 18 years and it closed in 1976. The head teacher for the school when it opened was Miss Heron, she died of cancer and was succeeded by Miss Squire, this happened around 1970. I could find no solid date online when I searched. 13th January 1970, a sixth former and 17-year-old, called Sandra Simpkin married 22-year-old Allan Barnes, a widow and she was given a day off from her lessons. The Grammar school closed in July 1976, and another Alumini of note that went there was Jayne Torvill (ice skater).

The Nottingham Trent University, then Trent Polytechnics, used the Hall after that until 2002.

Chek Whyte (Anthony Beardsley) then redeveloped the area, building houses on the ground, converted the Hall into two luxury apartments and 14 houses were listed as build on the south east of the Hall area. In 2007 he appeared on Secret Millionaire, he was then declared bankrupt in 2009 and was £20 million in debt but seems used to the life of a risk taker noting in a statement that he had been in the position before.

In 2007 Anwar Rashid purchased the property for £3.6 million and the family moved in, they used one wing of the Hall as a residency and planned to use the rest as a wedding venue or place for ceremonies. The Clifton Hall profile was raised again when the family left in 2008, having defaulted on their mortgage and allowing the Yorkshire Bank to repossess it, and it is listed for sale at £2.5 million, the reason was not cited as financial difficulty but the persistent danger to the family from paranormal threats. There is a current listing on Savills for the property.

I went to the area, Dec 2019, to look as the rumours about the place have reached an international interest historically and a friend of mine requested this as a blog. So here goes! The church, cemetery and Hall are at the end of the road and parking up I was greeted by a pleasant village view of the church and grounds entrance. St Mary’s is a pleasant churchyard and well kept, it sees current use and I took the time to photograph some of the graves for the website, Find A Grave. I also immediately heard voices in the trees, it was easy to work out that the source of this was ground workers, it was mid-day and there was traffic going into the workplace but it does come across a little weird and eerie as you hear it carrying across from the woods.

The place a history of ghosts and unusual events, Haunted Rooms had an entry, so let’s begin with that. A brief over-view of the history is there and mentions that in 1632 King Charles occupied the bedroom at the top of the winding stairs. I will be mentioning the stairs again later in one of these blog series. The quick summary here says there are dark apparitions of children, unexplained banging or tapping on the doors/walls, unexplained voices like low conversations and bloodstains appearing on bedclothes and floors.

The Paranormal Database also has an entry – The Clifton Family are said to have been warned about an impending family death of a sturgeon [fish] was seen swimming upstream of the Trent.

Local rumours?

One is that a painting used to be in the hall for the daughter of the Colonel, she died in a riding accident at Clifton Grove. Tracey Collins was a pupil there and said that the panting was rumoured to have been of his daughter but she died in a riding accident, instead they painted over the partially done piece and as a tribute a female foot on the colonel is actually what is left of her in her memory. This local legend has been disproven but the story still knocks around, the reason it was disproved as down to the fact that both daughters outlived their father and went on to marry. There is also nothing supernatural about it, but it is another weird local legend.

I also found a story from the Grammar School era about a bricked-up room, there are two stories that seem to centre around this theme. One is that there is a bricked-up room where a crying baby can be heard, not depending on the source it is either in the Hall or it is in the tunnel under it. This sort of ties in with the story of a tunnel that goes beneath the Hall to the church which also has a rumour that black magic rituals/satanism occurred there. Rumour also has it that this was in the stables as a witness say blood on the floor, there was a smell of burning herbs and all seems to link back to a crying child. I found nothing about this for any solid proof along with no named witnesses.

There are mentions of maids/women who grab up a child, in some local stories it is her jumping from a third story window with the child as a release from the Lord, in others it is a maid that jumps from the cliff into the river.

VWGolf (nottsalgia) refers to one of the bricked-up rumours potentially being a more mundane explanation. In the hall is an Octagonal dining room, and a creative centre piece which he says was all on a column in the middle of the room. It had statues and reliefs and upon searching around I found some photographs of it, Clifton-Village.org.uk seems to have supporting photographs at least.

Anwar Rashid and his family got unwanted fame about the Hall, along with Lee Roberts from TAPIT who was not so shy of being involved. The profile-raising section of this story and the paranormal side of Clifton Hall seems to have become more entrenched in modern history with their side of the saga and this is something you will have to wait more to hear about…

Part two coming soon.

 

 

Sources:
Wikipedia                            savills.com                                          History of Nottinghamshire, Vol 1
Telegraph.co.uk                 mysteriousbritain.co.uk                 nottsalgia.com
Haunted rooms                 theparanormalguide.com            Clifton-vollage.org.uk
Paranormaldatabase.com            Dark Mansions – Dinah Williams
BBC News                           kids.kiddle.co                                    officialleeroberts.com
Google                                 Fortean Times                                   alchetron.com/chek-whyte
Paranormal Network      Find A Grave