Coggeshall – Britain’s Most Haunted Place?

by MJ Wayland

As one of Britain’s most historic towns in the country, Coggeshall is situated between Colchester and Braintree and has over three hundred listed buildings! The town lies on the ancient Roman road of Stane Street and has many ancient buildings, The White Hart Hotel and Chapel Inn are hundreds of years old. Coggeshall’s market has run every week since 1256, when a charter to do so was granted by Henry III.

With a history that dates back near two thousand years is it any surprise that it is a town full of hauntings and mysteries?

White Hart Hotel, Coggeshall, Essex

There is one particular ghost present in this hotel, no-one can distinguish whether it is male or female or the history behind it. The ghost has been seen wandering the old parts of the hotel and in particular, the guests lounge which is the oldest room in the hotel.

Coggeshall Curse

Fables about the mid-Essex village of Coggeshall make it one of the most intriguing in East Anglia. The area is famed for its bizarre and obscure past. A tourist information leaflet teases curious visitors with the statement “discover sleepy unspoilt Coggeshall, where the ley lines cross and mysterious things happen.” It is rumoured that ley lines – said to be powerful beams of energy linked to the earth’s magnetic pull – actually cross in Coggeshall, creating friction. Peter Healey, the author of the ‘Coggeshall curse’, says a coven used to meet at Marks Hall and take part in bizarre rituals involving young women tied to trees. His book is packed full of weird and incredible tales about the area, including the suggestion that the warrior queen Boudica (Boadicea) is buried with her chariot and jewels in the parish. East Street in the town used to be known as Gallows Street and St Peter’s road was once known as Dead Lane. It was also thought that a set of gallows used to be situated at the Tollgate crossroads for public hangings. Coggeshall’s eerie past has also attracted ghost busters from across the country and some history books suggest a local woman was tortured by witchcraft in the 17th century. Mr Haines said: “The town is very proud of its history. We are still uncovering hidden treasures and that is what makes the area so fascinating.”

Cradle House

Cradle House was once a haven for monks who held meetings in secret rooms within the building; it is believed that these figures sometimes return to dance in the garden.

Robin’s Ghost

Coggeshall is haunted by the ghost of a 16th-century woodcutter named Robin, who is said to have carved a beautiful image called the ‘Angel of the Christmas Mysteries’ The statue was hidden during the Reformation and never found afterwards. Robin’s ghost has been reported near a brook, known locally as Robin’s Brook, and the blows of his ghostly axe have been heard at a distance.

Coggeshall Abbey

This pallid wrinkled monk walks silently around the Abbey with a lit taper, before leaving and making its way along the old lanes towards the Blackwater river.

47 Church Street

Once an inn, people in the building have reported doors that open and close without cause, odd smells, and a strange mist that crosses the base and top of the stairs

And there is so much more to explore, antique shops, hauntings and museums!

Clocktower and tearooms, Coggeshall (Tim Westcott) / CC BY-SA 2.0

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