Ancient hall at one time used as an inn and school, now preserved by local trustees. The original building was constructed in 1325.
– The first Hall was built by the D’Ewyas family on the bank of the River Ribble but this was destroyed by Robert The Bruce, following the battle of Bannockburn. – By 1325, the Great Hall of the present building was built by Gilbert de Southworth, husband of Alice D’Ewyas.
– The West Wing of the house, the oriel bay and the screen were all later added by Thomas de Southworth (Gilbert’s great grandson).
– Alas, the family fell into debt and Edward Southworth was forced to sell the Hall to Thomas Braddyll in March 1678.
– Braddyll never lived there but removed all he could to enhance his own home at Conishead Priory, Ulverston.
– Braddyll let the Hall to several families of hand loom weavers. As result, the hall became more and more dilapidated.
– Between 1830-1846 Braddyll ran the Hall as an inn called the Bradyll Arms.
– In 1850 the hall was leased and became a school for girls until 1862 when a man called Joseph Harrison bought it and carried out much renovation and restoration. Unfortunately he was a lavish entertainer and spent beyond his means. He shot and killed himself in 1878.
– A local JP lived there until 1909.
– 1924 an appeal was launched and group of trustees were formed to rescue and preserve the Hall
– Samlesbury is yet another venue whose Great Hall also seems to possess the spirit of a “White Lady”. This apparition has been seen by several people and could be related to the story of Dorothy Southworth (who resided in the Hall in the 17th century).
– Dorothy apparently fell in love with the son of a neighbouring Protestant family. But Southworths were strict Catholics so the relationship was forbidden although the couple decided to elope. Apparently on the evening that they intended to carry out their plan, they met, along with two friends, in the grounds of the Hall. Dorothy’s brother was lying in wait and stabbed her lover and his two accomplices to death. The bodies were secretly buried near the chapel. Horrified and grief stricken, Dorothy was sent abroad to a convent, where it is said she went mad and died.
– In the Priest Room, many visitors have expressed unease and fear at being here. Rumour has it that a priest was found in the Hall and killed in this room. Upon hearing this story the servants refused to clean the floor saying that the blood stain would keep appearing even after it had been cleaned, so former owner Joseph Harrison was forced to take up the old floor, burn it and fit a new floor.
– Voices have been heard by many, in the Great Hall.
– Footsteps and coughing noises have been heard in the Long Gallery.
– There is a tree in the grounds where, legend has it, the friends and lover of Dorothy Southworth were brutally murdered. Some say the ghostly emanations centre around this. In the last century, when the turnpike road was being built, three human skeletons were discovered in a shallow grave by the wall.
First Broadcast: 9th November 2004