Manor House Restaurant, West Bromwich
Manor House and restaurant. Listed in the Domesday Book under the possessions of William Fitz Ansculf (The Baron of Dudley), the Manor House has had many residents. Although the timber beams were dated using modern technology as having been cut down in 1275, in 1173 the lord of the manor was William Fitz Wido de Offini who founded Sandwell priory in 1180. In more recent years the priory has been excavated and a life size stone effigy of him was found there. It is believed that he is, along with others from the manor house, buried at the priory.
The Manor was built in 1230, and restored between 1957 and 1965.
Not much bloody history for the stately Manor House – but we’ll see if the Most Haunted team dig up anything different!
In 1713 the house was bought by Sir Samuel Clarke, and finally sold up in 1823 to the Earl of Dartmouth, James Smith. It was then that the building began to fall into a state of disrepair. On his death in 1829 it was passed on to his trustees and by 1836 was converted into flat-lets where three families lived until the 1880s. These conversions completely converged and concealed the Manor House until it was discovered while under demolition in the 1950s.
Saved and restored most of the original manor house was still intact. The moat was filled in at around 1700 and most likely used as a rubbish dump but during the halls restoration it was dug out using clever detective work to make sure it was situated exactly where it was originally. It was excavated by volunteers and some of the artefacts found (clay pipes, leather and pottery, ) are displayed at the Wednesbury Art Gallery. Some of the finds however, are kept at the manor house in the museum area and can be viewed by appointment.
· A man with a black beard has been seen forlornly looking out of the windows
· A person wearing a black cape has been seen making an appearance at weddings that have been held in the building.
· A grey haired little old woman has also been spotted.
· During a paranormal society’s investigation of the premises the lights went out and the chapel and the restaurant were thrown into complete darkness.
· In the ladies toilets, reports have been received from children saying that they have seen black pointed shoes peeping out from under a toilet cubicle.
· The manageress reports hearing her name being called twice one Saturday morning when she was on her own in the building.
Footsteps and strange voices have also been heard.
First Broadcast: 8th June 2004