Lewtrenchard Manor Saturday 25th August 2007
Date: Saturday 25th August 2007
Times: 18:00 Advance party arrival
20:00 Members Arrival
21:00 Investigation Start
02:00 Investigation End
Site Technical: Byron
Side Co-ordinator: Byron
Advance Team: Byron, Andy, Paul,
Guest Historian: Kyle
Miffie (Team Leader)
Andy (Team Leader)
Lesley (Team Leader)
Humidity Electro Magnetic Pulse Temperature
67.3% 00.4 23.9%
68.1% 00.5 24.2%
69.2% 00.5 24.4%
67.8% 00.5 25%
66.6% 00.5 25.4%
67.4% 00.5 26.5%
66.0% 00.5 26.6%
The baseline test were carried out by Andy and Martin, the readings were as expected.
An introduction to the investigation was carried out by Byron along with a safety brief. Byron welcomed all members, hotel staff and hotel guests. The members where then allocated in the 3 teams and supplied with the evening’s schedule. A ritual protection was carried out by Eileen (Haunted Devon Medium) and then the transfer to darkness took place for the investigation to begin. (Lights Out).
Watch Eileen's walk around with the historian
I arrived about 7 o’clock with Lesley and we went for a walk around the grounds. At one spot I felt an energy which I thought may have been a Lei Line, at this point we were by some bushes near a small stream. When we came to the formal garden we found a small shrine with running water feeding the fish pond, this was directly in front of the bushes where I had felt the energy. We then saw other members of the team arriving and went to greet them. As I entered the building my senses were bombarded by both the atmosphere and the look of this house, now a five star hotel.
We were all taken to the first floor; to a bedroom just off the long gallery this was to be Haunted Devon’s base for the evening. We were given time to look around and during my walk I was accompanied by a manager. She was asking a lot of questions about being psychic and a medium, I told her my initial feelings, but explained I was holding off from tuning in, until we began the investigation.
Just after this we were outside, the hotel bought coffee for us; they really looked after us all evening. Whilst I was waiting for coffee to arrive, I walked down to the shrine for a few moments contemplation and to ask the higher powers for clarity and guidance for the evening. It was here I picked some sage and returning to the team I borrowed a lighter, and lit the sage to smudge. I explained this was for cleansing. The sage was passed around the table and everybody present also took part. This is one of the things I love about Haunted Devon members; they try anything and respect everybody beliefs.
Eventually we all met in the lobby area and waited for the guests to finish dinner, so that those who wished to, to could join the planned history tour. Byron myself, the manager and managing director made final plans for how my taking part in this tour would work, I was then introduced to Kyle to hotel historian.
The guests assembled and after the introductions the tour was started
LOBBY: Here I picked up on a young boy about 10 years of age who was blonde petite and handsome. He was telling me the fire place was moved and that it was in bits.
Kyle informed us that he believed this was Sabien Baron-Gould, he and his family where known as Devon’s Adonis, because they where so good looking. Sabien was responsible for the restoration of Lew House and the fire place in the lobby, had been found dismantled in the attic and restored to its former place.
MAIN STAIRCASE: Here I told how earlier I had seen a women walk down the stairs and disappear before reaching the bottom. One of the staff told how they had been previously told by a guest of a lady walking up the stairs. I explained how this was residual energy and what that meant.
Earlier in the evening during my walk about, at the top of the staircase I had a feeling of falling and my conclusion was that a woman seen there must have passed because of falling. I also asked if there had been a fireplace there as I had an overwhelming smell of soot and ash.
Kyle advised that there had been a time when the staircase was in such a dangerous state that it could not be used and at the time the whole house used the back stairs. Also there had been a fireplace that had been condemned because of the dangerous conditions and subsequently removed.
BALLROOM: In this room apart from the vague music and a feeling of being very crowded I did not pick up on anything.
Kyle confirmed that this was the newest room in the house and had only been used for celebrations.
Therefore, I not picking up on anything was expected.
BAR: As I walked in I sensed a man and when standing in the room I picked up on a grounded spirit of an older man. I knew one man had died in there and this man had spent a lot of time there to the extent he considered this is personal room.
I also got the feeling he was talking about the gun room, although Kyle could not confirm whether there had been one at Lew House. I describe this man as cantankerous, with no tolerance of his peers and a liking for the ladies.
Kyle, felt this could be both Sabien and his father Edward. The latter having a total dislike for the local gentry and was known as a ladies man.
THE LIBRARY: In this room I explained that the energy in this room was very still almost like time was out of place here and earlier in the day I had seen a man sitting in the corner with a dark hair moustache and neatly trimmed beard.
Kyle said that although this room looked Tudor in design it was in fact extended, with half of the room being of an earlier time. The large wooden fire place being the boundary and one of the Baron-Gould’s had indeed had his desk down that end although it was on the other wall to where I had seen the man sitting.
LONG GALLERY: I was aware of two children running along the gallery at the end nearest the back stairs, as I went up there was a point where the energy changed, like walking through a doorway, and this end felt very much like a nursery. I was also aware of a man who had come out from the direction of the room HD were using and come half way across and just dropped dead, it was so instantaneous that it felt like an aneurism.
FORMAL DINING ROOM: I was aware of a man sitting at the table and going through a ledger, it was as if I was seeing through his eyes. Stood behind him was a woman who was the strength and the power of the former household and I got a name beginning with MA.
Kyle named the man and asked me if there were any paintings that meant anything to me?
I was drawn to two, one was a man and the other was a women, I gave what information I had about them.
Kyle knew nothing of the man but thought from his dress he was a monk and the lady was Margaret and she was indeed the head of the household and had, had fourteen children.
SMALL DINING ROOM: In here earlier I had known that cold spots accrue here; this was confirmed by the manager.
I then left the tour and returned to the team waiting in the lobby.
Because I had heard the history of the Manor, my role for the rest of the investigation was one of support for the team, although I did help to guide members I did not take an active part in gaining information.
It is truly an interesting place; although some of the activity is residual there are some that are grounded, the man in the library. I also had a strong feeling that royalty had stayed here but, Kyle was unable to confirm this.
There were signs to me with the residual that activity during the civil war was of importance, both to the family and the building.
A thoroughly enjoyable night.
Eileen (Haunted Devon Medium)
When walking around the Manor before the investigation started proper, I walked up to the long gallery with Lesley. As I placed my feet on the stairs I felt a wave of nausea. When at the top of the stairs I had an image of a woman with long dark hair and she was panicked. She was fleeing towards the top of the stairs and swinging around the top of the newel post but then I couldn’t get any more information. I also saw a flash of red petticoat.
Down in the reception area, I had an image of a man in a long dark wig and white ruffles on his cuffs. I was reminded of Charles the 1st.
11:45hrs Vigil area 1: Reception and Bar area.
Once everyone was settled I started to call out for activity or phenomena. I asked for all those present to be aware for activity in the form of lights or unusual noises and also to remain open to the possibility of receiving information in thoughts or images. Within a few minutes, Kyle, one of the staff members who gave the earlier historical tour, said that he had the name of Edward and a black horse. Eileen corroborated this information by describing the horse as standing at 15 hands. Kyle thought that Edward loved his horse very much and that he was his favourite. However, whilst describing to the group his impressions of the horse and its owner he became overwhelmed with emotion and had to leave the room for some fresh air. Once he had regained his composure he said that he felt as if he had become the horse. He described the emotions of sadness and fear that the horse was feeling when out on a hunt. The horse was trying his hardest to please his master during the hunt but could not physically pull upon anymore strength and eventually had collapsed and died from a heart attack (This could not be confirmed). No other activity occurred so we moved into the Bar.
Eileen mentioned that she had felt that the Bar was where an actively grounded spirit resided and the staff had earlier agreed that a lot of activity did take place in this area. Eileen asked me if I could pick up on the spirit. She came and placed her hand on my back so that I could use her energy to get a clearer connection. I described a tall and lean man in his late forties or early fifties with greying hair at the sides of his head. He had a moustache and was of a stern character. I offered the name of Edward but I wasn’t certain if that was his name or if he was from the Edwardian period because I had seen him dressed in a tweed suit. Eileen then said that this is how she had seen the gentleman earlier. Brian said that he could see a waistcoat and a pocket watch.
I decided to try and elicit some activity again by calling out. There were some strange sounds that seemed to come from the drinks trolley and it sounded almost like drumming fingers. Both Sally and Jason, the owners, said that they heard it too. We also saw a dull flash of light near the window. Brian thought that the energy might be increased if we did a hand-holding séance. However, this unfortunately resulted in Kyle becoming emotionally affected again. He felt really angry and said the spirit of Edward was very displeased and angry at what we were doing and we were being disrespectful to him. Kyle shouted out at the group in anger “How dare you!!” and then stormed out of the bar. Eileen followed him again to make sure he was alright and he came back into the room after a couple of minutes. He apologized to the group and told us all that Edward was not at all happy at what we were doing. Fortunately, at this point it was time to move vigil areas.
00:30hrs: Vigil area 2: The long gallery and top of the stairs.
The long gallery:
As we settled into this area, Kyle took himself to a chair at the head of the table and announced that he was feeling very angry. So angry that he wanted to sweep aside all the things on the top of the table and up-end it! He thought that it was to do with the father of the young lady Susannah Truscott who had married a man against his express wishes and died in the grounds whilst on the way back from the church. He wasn’t sure if it was a heart attack or if she had been poisoned. Brian’s thoughts were that she had been poisoned but he also felt that a lady had been seen frequently gliding up and down the stairs and this was confirmed by Sally. She would be seen ‘gliding’ not walking.
We tried calling out for activity but nothing of note happened so I described what I had picked up in the Melton bedroom when we were setting up the equipment. I had an impression of 2 young children, no older than 5 and fair-haired. They were running into the room giggling. We invited them to play with us but there was no response.
Top of the main staircase:
Sally, Kyle and I stepped out onto the main landing, Sally sat in the big settle near the door and Kyle settled in the seat at the top of the stairs. We all heard a sound of metal hinges and thought that it sounded like the top being moved of the large settle. Kyle then showed me a picture of Sabien Baring Gould and he was a gentleman dressed in a tweed suit and fair hair.
01:15hrs: Vigil area 3 The library and dining room.
Nothing of note happened during the investigation although; it was in this room that I had earlier picked up a gentleman wearing a tweed suit and metal-rimmed round spectacles. He had a moustache and was sitting in a chair near the windows.
The dining room and glass divination:
Unfortunately, the glass divination proved very disappointing. It moved very weakly in response to Jason asking a Margaret if she was happy about him implementing some plans for a rose garden. It also moved positively to the date 1710 which was offered up by Brian, but then it died off again. The date is connected to a priest and as soon as I mentioned the word ‘Priest’ it moved. Brian felt that he was a missionary just passing through. At this time I had the name Godfrey pop into my head but nothing was confirmed. However, Jason and Kyle who took part in the glass divination said that they were pleased to feel a tingling sensation in the tips of their fingers.
Miffie: Team 1 Team Leader
11:45hrs: Vigil area 1 The library, adjoining room and grounds.
After Eileen had put protection in place for all of those taking part in the investigation my team left for their first vigil area as outlined above. After settling down in the library and answering a few questions from the guests and staff of the hotel, I asked Mike (A talented sensitive) what his first impressions of the area were.
He had a feeling that the library had not originally been a library or, indeed, a place of relaxation and contemplation but had instead been a “working” room. He picked up on the name of a Roger de …….. But unfortunately was unable to get a surname or family name. His feeling was that he was in some way connected with the property and that this was his “office”, his place of work and that people from the surrounding area would come there to pay taxes or fees to him. I felt that he worked from behind a large desk that was positioned at the far end of the room by the windows so that he would be able to look out over the estate (This was confirmed by the local historian). I also had a feeling that there had been a very heated argument in that room resulting in physical injury. The impression of a man arguing with Roger de….over the fees or taxes or rent for his land and resulting in Roger de …… getting up from behind the desk and striking the man in the small of the back with a stick, staff or rod of some kind causing him to fall to his knees (This could not be confirmed).
After this the group proceeded to “call out” to no avail. We therefore decided to move into the next room. Once settled in the next room we tried some glass divination, but again, the results were poor. We did manage to get the glass to “twist” slightly and also move very slowly in response to Martyn calling out to indicate recognition of one of the guests in the group (a member of the hotel staff). Unfortunately the glass divination gave such poor results for our group we decided to abandon the experiment.
00:30hrs: Vigil area 2 The main sitting room and bar area.
Unfortunately, we did not pick up much in the main sitting room and nothing at all in the bar area. In the main sitting room whilst sitting in a chair by the fireplace Mike picked up the name James Gould Knight (status). I didn’t really know what this meant, however, after the whole investigation had finished at 2.00 am it was revealed by the owners of the hotel that James Gould had been an owner of the property and had lived there. They did not give the date of his ownership but I felt it was around 1680 – 1720. On reflection I think that Knight (status) has nothing to do with James Gould but was almost a statement about his property!
In the bar area, we were informed that there was a priest hole. (A concealed place for members of the clergy to hid during times of trouble) The priest hole was already open and Mike ventured inside armed with Martyn’s digital camera and a torch. Mike took a couple of photographs before coming out again. One of these photographs appeared to show a streak of light crossing the field of vision. At all times the torch was behind Mike to provide background illumination only.
01:15hrs: Vigil area 3 The gallery and main staircase area.
In this area I asked Mike what his impressions were. Mike felt that the gallery had not originally been as it is now, an ornate passage way, but that it had the feeling that the area involved a child or children in some way. Mike then decided that perhaps there was a link to children’s nurseries (more than one room) although He was confused as to the layout. It was later confirmed that the layout had changed and children were roomed in this location.
In this area he picked up on the name of Margaret. Mike’s impression was that she comes up the stairs to check up on a much loved infant and to rock his cradle. She comes and rocks the cradle, looking down into it with joy and happiness. That happiness is short lived as she realises that the infant is dead. She then runs from the nursery crying and screaming, tears streaming down her face in shock and horror at what she has discovered, spinning round the nuel posts of the staircase, almost tripping. She runs out of the building as if fleeing (towards the church?). She appeared to be wearing a long, flowing, silvery coloured gown. This was also picked up by Miffie in the 1st team. The cot in the gallery is known to rock by itself and was recently reported doing so by a guest unaware of the legend.
Despite the team calling out to Margaret in the gallery area and at the top of the main staircase there was no response.
Armed with the Infra Red camera, Paul captured various orbs in this location, with one orb a face could be made from the picture. Interestingly, when we reviewed the film of the Gallery, a child’s voice was captured calling “Mummy” It was confirmed that there were no children staying at the hotel in this location.
The close down
The final part of the investigation involved a de-brief and final protection exercise which was held in the lounge.
Lewtrenchard is in no doubt a truly beautiful location with a friendly welcoming atmosphere. Inside the Manor it is certainly difficult to get away from the Haunted Manor mindset that could pre-empt the fear factor at an investigation with the gothic fireplaces and wooden floors and panels. The investigation was in general a fairly quiet one but with some very interesting results. Firstly the medium tour was proved to provide some excellent results and the look on the staff members faces were a picture (The manager Justin in particular) was priceless. The information that Eileen had provided was the most conclusive that I have experienced and to have an independent expert historian on hand to confirm or deny Eileen’s findings was a rare gift. Kyle the historian generally confirmed Eileen’s detailed information with only a few certain areas that could not confirmed or denied either way. It could be said that Eileen could have researched this location before hand but when I tried to find any information on Lewtrenchard Manor I found it extremely difficult to find anything at all. Lewtrenchard Manor is not a well known spiritual location and with its current hotel status it does not advertise or promote this area.
There were three important areas of evidence. Firstly there was Eileen’s psychic evidence. Secondly, whilst setting up the camera equipment at the beginning of the investigation, Mike witnessed a orb approach a camera and ‘bob’ up and down and move away like a small child approaching the camera and popping its head up to look into what’s going on. This was the same area we later had confirmed the spirit of a dead child is known to roam and a child’s death was recorded in the Manor’s history. Thirdly we had the child’s voice recorded on the film captured by Paul.
When we attempted to communicate with the spirits in our usual manner through channelling or divination we received very little response. The physical evidence we did capture was uninvited, which I believe that in death not unlike life people may or may not want to communicate. Kyle the historian possibly summed it up as the spirit of ‘Edward’ was displeased with our intent and effort and did not want anything to do with this affair.
From the evidence gained, it is without doubt that there is a lot of activity in the gallery, but to attempt to communicate to a dominant former owner who is not interested and dis-pleased with a paranormal investigation is always going to be difficult!
I would love to visit this location again as another location for example is one of the most active locations in the South West, but it was extremely quiet on the last HD visit. You can some it up by walking in to a pub on a night out. You can walk into some pubs and they can be packed to the rafters. You can walk into others and there is not a soul (excuse the pun) to be seen. It is the chance you take on that particular night.
Thanks to Miffie, Mike and Paul for their reports and observations of the night’s events, and many thanks to the kind hotel management and staff for their help and support on this investigation.
Pictures and material are copyright Haunted Devon / Von Essen Group