Petty France Manor, Badmington
Name and location: Petty France, Gloucestershire
Description: A grandiose building, the Manor House is a large, white building set in two acres of land and is now a four star hotel.
Era: the main building was constructed in the late 18th Century during a time of conflict that pitted England against Napoleon’s French forces on land and sea
– French prisoners of war may have been kept here during the Napoleonic wars, but previously it is believed to have been a Huguenot settlement during the reign of Henry VIII.
– The famous diarist Parson Woodbridge stayed at the house, as did Jane Austen, who refers to Petty France by name in ‘Northanger Abbey’.
– In 1800 the house was owned by Charles Jenkinson, formerly known as Baron Hawkesbury and 1st Earl of Liverpool. His son Robert Banks Jenkinson inherited it in 1808, and was Prime Minister for fifteen years. The battle of Waterloo occurred during this time and it’s thought that Lord Wellington visited the house, which it’s believed to have been used as a hunting lodge.
– The 1851 census shows two families living there, one being Charles Long with his wife Anne and children and their eighteen servants and their families.
– In 1925 Lord and Lady Allen Apsley bought the house but in 1942 Lord Apsley was killed in a flying accident
– The figure of a man is often and very clearly seen throughout the house, described by many witnesses as being over 6ft, very good looking, tanned skin, wearing a black, possibly velvet, jacket, sometimes with a tall hat, sometimes without. It is thought to be the spirit Robert Banks Jenkinson.
– The previous owner can recall at least 24 reported sightings of this rather dapper ghost.
– A phantom woman has been seen regularly walking from the bathroom into the bedroom and in the corridor outside the Art Deco room. She may be Robert’s mother Amelia, who died giving birth in this room.
– Several hotel guests claimed to have encountered the ghost of William Harford in the Art Deco room.
– The spirit of a young child has been spotted sitting innocently on the main staircase
– In the attic a sad-faced old lady has been seen sitting quietly on the bed.
– There has been a lot of poltergeist activity, mainly cutlery flying around and electrical appliances failing inexplicably – Many people have said that when they proceed through the entrance hall they have felt the strong sensation of someone rushing towards them.
– Cats often begin to wail loudly only when they enter the dining room.
– A strong burning smell lingers in the games room, and a particular chair is said to regularly move around of its own volition
– In the Art Deco room the sounds of dragging can be heard coming from above and guests have felt like they are being watched while they’re in there
– People have been touched by invisible hands in the attic and the temperature frequently drops dramatically
First Broadcast: 24th May 2005