The ghosts of Berry Pomeroy

Berry Pomeroy got it its name from Ralph de Pomeroy, a norman knight who was granted the lands around the castle by William the Coquerer. His name comes from the french word for an orchard of apple trees, pommeraie, quite appropriate for the south west, where orchards are common.

The Seymour’s plans for Berry Pomeroy were left abruptly unfinished because Edward Seymour (circa 1500 – 1552), who had been Lord Protector at the beginning of reign of his nephew, Edward VI (1537 -1553), fell out of favour at court and was beheaded at the Tower of London in 1552. Because of this you might expect that he would haunt the ruins, but in fact it seems he is the one ghost who doesn’t.

One story says that the ghost of a highly distressed, richly dressed, young woman can be seen walking upstairs in the castle, foreshadowing someone’s death within the walls. The story goes that she was the daughter of a baron who bore a child with her father which she then murdered. Some say she wears a blue hooded cape and she was witnessed by Sir Walter Farquhar, a prominant 18th century doctor, when he visited the steward’s ill wife who died soon after.

There is another tale about Lady Margaret Pomeroy who was imprisoned by her sister who was jealous of her beauty, she now resides in St Margaret’s tower where a mysterious blue light is sometimes seen at night. Some say she lures people to their deaths in more dangerous parts of the castle.

People often mention that they feel unusually cold and that there are strange drafts blowing through the walls. I have heard there is a tradition of putting copper coins in the castle walls, however I cannot find any reference to it, perhaps I shall see them on my visit. Its interesting how some people leave different traces when they are in a place, whether it be their ghost or a coin, or perhaps something else, these will be things I shall look out for.

Now, as it is St Piran’s Day, and I ‘appen to be cornish, I shall wish you Gool Peran Lowen and go off to eat a pasty.


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