Standing in the middle of Northampton’s oldest park, Abington Park Museum is a Tudor Manor house dating back to 1485. The building has seen several different uses over the years, including a domestic residence, asylum and museum. Abington Abbey Asylum closed its doors in 1892, and the manor house and park surrounding it were given to the people of Northampton. The building was reopened as a museum, and gradually developed into what we see today. The museum is a disorientating maze of rooms and corridors, with a very eerie, unsettling atmosphere. Precisely who haunts the building is a mystery – very few investigations have been carried out at this location in the past and present – so you have the opportunity to step into the unknown and uncover the hidden secrets of this daunting old former hospital.
The Hauntings of Abington Park
Various different sightings and occurrences have been reported by both staff and visitors, including dark shadows and figures that have been sighted in various areas of the building, disembodied footsteps and voices coming from behind a locked doors, and feelings of sadness, anger and distress.
Visitors have also reported the feeling of being watched, and some have felt a presence standing close to them, even though they have been alone at the time. A member of staff was left terrified after having their arm grabbed by an unseen hand whilst locking up.
Conditions in the asylum are not believed to have been overly cruel or unpleasant, however it has been reported that during this time two patients hung themselves. Over the years, guests have reported feelings of great sadness and distress in the area where the bodies were discovered.
The History of Abington Park
The building was built and originally owned by John Bernard, and was home to several generations of the family over the following 200 years, including Elizabeth Bernard, who was the granddaughter of William Shakespeare, and lived in the house during the 17th century. The manor house then passed into the possession of the Thursby’s, who lived in the building until 1841, when financial problems resulted in the house being auctioned off.
In 1845, the building was turned into an asylum, known as Abington Abbey, run by Doctor Thomas Octavius Pritchard.
The museum was originally a manor house built at the turn of the 16th century. The Great Hall, now called the Oak Room because of its oak panelling, dates back to 1500. It was once home to William Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth Bernard née Elizabeth Hall, who was buried in 1670 in the adjacent late 12th-century church of St Peter and St Paul. Her second marriage was to Sir John Bernard or Barnard, the MP for Huntingdon from 1660, who successively enlarged the house in the 1660s. It passed to the Thursby family in 1669 and was further enlarged and remodelled in the classical Georgian style between 1738 and 1743 by William Thursby. While owned by the Thursbys, the actor David Garrick planted a mulberry tree in the grounds in 1778, in recognition of his friendship with Anne Thursby. In 1821, during repairs to the church, all but the main tower of the church was blown down in a storm; the Thursbys rebuilt the main body of the church, which retains few of its original features.
In 1841 the manor was sold and its contents auctioned off. It was converted into a asylum in 1845, directed first by Thomas Octavius Prichard and later his cousin Thomas Prichard. The asylum was closed in 1892, when the Manor House and grounds were donated to Northampton Council. In 1994 the house was reopened as a museum after a complete restoration. The museum features displays about the social history of Northamptonshire (including a costume collection) and its military history (including artefacts from the Northamptonshire Regiment). The Museum of Leathercraft is also based in the house.
This Event Includes
Working in small groups, participating in Ouija/spirit board sessions, Evp Sessions, Table tipping, seances and many other different techniques. Tea/coffee and light snacks throughout the evening.
Please remember to wear suitable footwear as this location has a lot of stairs and very uneven floors.
This Location is not suitable for people with walking and mobility issues.
OVER 18's ONLY
PLEASE NOTE OVER 18'S ONLY, ALL PLACES ARE NON REFUNDABLE OR TRANSFERABLE ONCE BOOKED
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