Start the evening at Warwick Old Priory this location now houses the Warwick record office, We will be investigating some of the parts that still remain of the former Mansion. This Old mansion which dates back to the 16th Century, The parts which still stand today certainly have a strange uneasy feel about them. Standing on the site and grounds and the remains can still be seen is the former Priory of Saint Sepulchre. This location is said to be linked via a secret network of underground tunnels, leading to Guys Cliffe, St Johns House, The old shire hall. Following the investigation at the former priory we will then lead you on foot through the town of Warwick stopping at different places to St Johns House to start the 2nd part of our investigation. (PLEASE NOTE THOSE THAT DO NOT WANT TO WALK CAN TAKE FROM CAR FROM THE OLD PRIORY TO ST JOHN'S)
The Ghosts Of Warwick old Priory And St Johns House
Upon the visit to the former priory there is now very little remaining of the priory itself except for the outer walls which are now ruins, The former house has 2 extended parts which is where the 20 guests will join us. The Cellar has a very strange dark feel to it, the feeling of small children playing and hiding within here was very predominant The sense of needing to go to a lower level we believe may have been connected to the former priory. The ground floor wings, you can certainly feel the presence of a religious male, We feel that chanting may well could of been heard from visitors who have visited the grounds here. The Upper floors on the former house have a feeling of busy extremely busy from nannies to a seamstress. From Warwick old priory we will walk to our next location of St John mansion. stopping off at significant points including old shire hall. St Johns House is known for its activity from doors opening by unforeseen hands in the attic to loud bangs and sound of furniture being dragged from above empty locked off rooms. This is an intense investigation join us we head over to Warwickshire.
THE HISTORY OF OLD WARWICK PRIORY
For nearly 900 years a succession of buildings has stood on the low sandstone hill to the north of Warwick, a site now occupied by the County Record Office. The Priory of Saint Sepulchre was founded here by Henry de Newburgh, the first Earl of Warwick, at some date between 1114 and 1119. It belonged to the order of the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, who had the special duty of caring for pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1188 the house became indistinguishable from an ordinary Augustinian priory. The house was surrendered to the crown in 1536 by the then prior, Robert Radford, and three canons.
In 1546 the Priory was granted to Thomas Hawkins (alias Fisher), a servant of John Dudley. Dudley was the father-in-law of Lady Jane Grey and was created Earl of Warwick in 1547. Fisher pulled down the old buildings and on the site built a mansion, finished in about 1566, which, according to Dugdale, he called “Hawkyns Nest”. After Fisher’s son had wasted his inheritance it was sold by him to John Puckering in 1581. Puckering was a lawyer, who became the Speaker of the House of Commons, and was made Keeper of the Great Seal in 1592 and knighted. The house was remodelled, probably by Sir John or his widow between 1581 and 1611, and the west front made uniform, with the row of six great ogee headed gables rising above the parapet, familiar from photographs. Henry Wise, Royal Gardener The estate was later acquired by Henry Wise, royal gardener to King George I, Queen Anne and King William III. He purchased the property in 1709, along with the manors of Woodloes, Upper Woodcote and Lillington, for £10,553 10s. His son added a huge square wing facing the terrace in about 1745. The Wise family retained ownership of the Priory until 1851, when Henry Christopher Wise, great, great grandson of the royal gardener, sold the house and gardens to the Oxford Junction Railway Company. The now very large mansion passed through various hands and restorations until it was bought by A.W. Weddell at a demolition sale in 1925.The Priory estate was acquired by Warwickshire County Council in 1940, but plans for its development had to be postponed because of the war. In 1953 Priory Park (which had been sold to Warwick Borough Council in 1951) was opened to the public and in 1972 excavations in advance of building the new County Record Office revealed that the 12th century religious house had been built over three earlier limekilns. Traces of the monastery included burials, presumably under the floor of the church, and the outline of a small room with the base of a central column. Most of the foundations were, however, obliterated by the cellars of the Tudor mansion and its later additions.
THIS EVENT INCLUDES
Two locations one night, We will start the evening at 8.00pm at Warwick old priory (Weather Permitting) you have the opportunity to investigate Priory Park a site which again is again in connected with the former priory. Access to investigate the later parts of the former House. Should you want to join us on foot, we will be walking from the old priory through Warwick Town stopping off at significant locations including old shire hall leading down on foot to St Johns House. This intense investigation allows you to investigate alone (numbers of people wanting to do it permitted ) also due to the nature of the premises a member of staff from Warwickshire County Council has to be present with the former house at the records office. Tea/ Coffee and Lights snacks are provided. A Brief history of the two locations and tour.
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