Friday, 2 November 2012

Ghostly tales & nightgowns

 I have been to an auction in County Durham this week - I can get there by motorway but the scenic route over the hills and moors is so much nicer (provided you don't get stuck behind a tractor!).
Lovey autumn colours too and lots of wildlife; sheep, deer, rabbits and pheasants were all spotted on the way. 

At the auction I was only successful with one lot but it was full of Victorian white cotton nightdresses and maid's aprons.

I was told that the vendor of the lot had originally acquired the clothing in a trunk at a sale of some of the contents of Stanhope Old Hall. 

Stanhope Old Hall, a medieval manor house on the edge of the North Pennine village of Stanhope, County Durham, has long had a spooky reputation. Local legend has it that, during the Middle Ages, a young engaged couple entered the house and disappeared, only to be found years later under the floorboards — two skeletons holding hands.

One resident claimed to have so many strange experiences whilst living in the house that they called in the Paranormal Society. When they visited they reported sudden temperature drops, sightings of an old grey lady, ghostly orbs captured on film and visions of red-robed monks in the boiler room. (During Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, monks hid in the basement here.)  I wonder if any of them had been wearing one of my white nightgowns?  Definitely a very seasonal tale as Halloween was just two days ago!

I also found these images on the internet showing just a small range of the nightwear that was available in Victorian times.

 I love the advert for face powder in the sheet below - she must have needed a great deal of coverage as the box is the size of a drum!

I have included the link below so that you can see more of these catalogues if you want to take a look.


Anonymous said...

I have just come across your site by accident and was interested to see the mention of Stanhope Old Hall as I actually live at the hall. As for ghostly experiences there was a two page article in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Hi, amazed to come across your site by accident and to see my home, Stanhope Old Hall featured. I would love to know if those items actually came from the hall? My wife woke during the night before my birthday to see a ghostly maid singing Happy Birthday!!! Is this a bizarre coincidence seeing your items???

antique linen cupboard said...

Very bizzare and spooky experience!
I bought the lot at auction and I was approached after the sale and told the history of the clothing by the granddaughter of the person who bought an old trunk from the Hall. This was a number of years ago and the clothing was in the trunk.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the hall from my birth in 1970 until 1987. My family lived there from the turn of the 20th century until we sold it in 1987 so it could be my family that sold the trunk.