St Briavels Castle Ghost Hunt

Lydney, Gloucestershire

St Briavels Castle Ghost Hunt Event Photo

The castle, which was built as a hunting lodge for King John has also been used a prison and a chapel and has had many historic characters visitors in its time. John only visited St Briavel’s five times in seventeen years, staying no more than eleven days altogether.  The castle Found itself in royal possession by the 1160s and was rebuilt, with the small but impressive keep, by Henry II.

Situated in The Forest of Dean, the location of this castle was very important as it sat in one of the centers of the medieval iron industry which saw the manufacture of weapons, especially crossbow bolts. The crossbow, a weapon of choice by the mercenaries who were employed in considerable numbers by Henry’s son, King John , who built a new hall (now vanished) and an elaborate chamber block at St Briavel’s.

Moving forward to 1272–1307, thousands of crossbow bolts were produced at the castle in preparation for the king’s Welsh and Scottish campaigns. Edward took care to ensure that his arsenal was well protected, adding the massive twin-towered gatehouse to the castle in 1292.

With the conquest of Wales completed by the end of the 15th century, the castle’s importance declined rapidly and unused buildings were demolished in 1680.

The Forest Prison
St Briavals Castle

As a prison the castle held anyone who conspired against the Kings Law. The gate house was the mainarea used and housed anyone accused of committing a crime in the forest. Although hangings took lace at the battlement, fines were far more profitable for the establishment. Mutilation also took place which served as a reminder to the public the consequences of breaking the kings law.

In 1777 the keep and east tower collapsed which destroyed the adjoining buildings and the great hall. The castle was still being used as a debtors’ prison until 1842 but after centuries of neglect and decay, the surviving buildings were rendered habitable at the turn of the 20th century.

Its with all this recorded history, its no wonder that the castle is reported to be one of the most haunted in the UK.

Reported Paranormal Activity

A child's cry has been reported in the solar room where during renovations they found the remains of a baby in the ceiling rafters.

Will the team be under the watchful eye of a man in full suit of Armour who has been a reported sighting since 1950's. This intimating apparition is thought to be one of William the conqueror's soldiers. 

Graffiti still remains in the holding cell room, thought to be the markings of the desperate prisoners before they were sent die. One of the rooms still has a Oubliette which some might say was worse than death as you would have been thrown down the pit with many others to die.

 

St Briavels Castle


 

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