Cromwell House

Today I’m going to tell you about the house I moved into in June. Apparently it was built around 1760ish and was originally a farmhouse. I’ve been told by local folk that the house has always been known as Cromwell House, some say because Oliver Cromwell once stayed at the house. However, unfortunately for Cromwell he’d already been hung, drawn and quartered in 1658. So that clearly wasn’t the reason it was called Cromwell House. I did some research and came to the conclusion that Cromwell House was in fact the name given to Catholic safe houses whilst they were being heavily persecuted during this time period. Cromwell was extremely anti catholic and by giving the house that name, the catholic’s inside were effectively saying to the outside world that this house was anti catholic and sided with Cromwell. Pretty good, I guess it would be on a par with a Vegan calling their restaurant the slaughter house. Throw the authorities right of the scent!

So I gathered that the house had been a secret worship site for catholics. The house itself does show signs of this. A beautiful stained glass window adorns the stairway and we have found several Virgin Mary statues in the undergrowth outside.

Stained glass window panel on the stairway

The house has been kept as original as possible throughout the decades and for that I am truly grateful. I felt as though I had stepped back in time when I first viewed the property. That excitement has not diminished even with the roof having several holes in it! My aim is to keep everything as original as possible.

A little cubbyhole in the kitchen/dining room. I’m not religious but due to the house’s history I decided a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi…the patron saint of animals would be a good fit.

The kitchen/ dining area has quite an interesting piece on display. A stone pillar from nearby Handale Abbey is in use to keep the ceiling from falling in. The Abbey was destroyed during the reformation under that jolly pleasant fellow Henry VIII. The stonework left was taken by local farmers throughout the centuries that followed and used in their own building work. That’s why I have a monastic pillar in my kitchen!

The pillar from Handale Abbey on the right. Yes that is a colander being used as a lampshade. The previous owners were very artist.

The attic is rather interesting and I was pretty much positive it was haunted. A few weeks ago I was on my own in the house, which isn’t uncommon as Mally works night shifts. At around 3am I was awoken by the sound of snoring. There was only me in the house. Cagney and Lacey my two black cats were asleep on the bed. I was concerned that this was some ghostly apparition getting some downtime in either the back bedroom or the attic. Cagney and Lacey didn’t seem interested and as everyone knows cats sense these things…don’t they? That’s what telly says anyway.

I realised I urgently needed the loo. All I could hear was very loud snoring. I looked at my phone to see when sunrise was…ghosts always go back when the sun goes up according to Most Haunted. Sunrise was due around 6am. I could lay there for another three hours or just bite the bullet and investigate. I quickly switched all the lights on and bolted for the bathroom. From the bathroom I could still hear the snoring. I was pretty alarmed by this stage. But hey I would have a great story to tell if I saw something. I slowly and slightly trembling walked towards the back bedroom were it appeared the noise was coming from. I picked up little Lacey cat as protection against the underworld and walked in. To my relief it appeared that the noise was coming from the boiler. The pressure had dropped and it was the water trying to circulate that was making a strange snoring noise. Case closed…whether it was the boiler or not I had satisfied myself that that was the case!

Creepy attic

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