archaicwonder: Ghosts of Rochester Castle, Ke…


Ghosts of Rochester Castle, Kent, England

The castle is said to be haunted by Lady Blanche de Warren. Her apparition has been seen many times staggering along with an arrow protruding from her chest. It is said that she was accidentally killed by her fiance during Easter in 1264. The arrow was shot by her betrothed in an attempt to protect her from the unwanted affections of another man. Tragically, the arrow bounced off the armor of its intended target and hit Lady Blanche in the heart, killing her instantly.

The alleged ghost of Charles Dickens has also been reported at the castle near the Old Burial Ground. Dickens loved Rochester Castle and at one time expressed his wish to be buried there. After his death, he was deemed too important for such a humble resting place so he was buried at Westminster Abbey instead. However, his ghost seems to return to the place that he loved.

In addition to Lady Blance and Charles Dickens, a ghostly drummer boy is said to inhabit the castle grounds as well. His drumming can be heard at night every now and then.

Built after the Norman Conquest of England, the 12th-century castle keep is one of the best preserved in England. Rochester was a strategically important royal castle built on the site of a Roman town at the junction of the River Medway and Watling Street, an old Roman road. The castle is a Norman tower-keep made of Kentish ragstone and was built about 1127 by William of Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury, with the encouragement of Henry I. Consisting of three floors above a basement, it still stands 113 feet high.

In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured a long  siege by King John. Having first undermined the outer wall, John used the fat of 40 pigs to fire a mine under the keep, bringing its southern corner crashing down. Even then the defenders held on, until they were eventually starved out after resisting for two months. The castle was rebuilt by Henry III and Edward I and remained as a viable fortress until the sixteenth century.