Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Sutton Scarsdale is the ruined empty shell of a once impressive manor house not far from Hardwick. Scandalously the interior was ripped out and exported to American in the early 20th century, although to be fair it is now preserved in a museum. The house is very eerie because of the open ceiling, when I visited there was a dark sky and rain falling, I was the only visitor. The house is said to be haunted by a young girl who died in the cellar and paranormal groups have done investigations there. There is a 'postcard' of the site which appears to show a ghost, although I have seen a similar vintage postcard of the same style purporting to show a ghost at Hampton Court which was faked, so I suppose ghost tourism has been popular for many years.
Hardwick Hall is the ancestral home of Bess of Hardwick, I visited this English Heritage site in Derbyshire on my journey back from Yorkshire, where I had a cup of tea . I was unable to visit the National Trust owned New Hardwick Hall because of its limited opening times. However the older one was most impressive. I saw a photograph from 1910 which showed a sculpture above the fireplace (still intact) of a large man similar to the ghost in Oscar Wilde's short story the Canterville Ghost. It was obviously being repaired because it was coated in a white plaster type material. But it was still very eerie and I expected it to come to life any moment!
I arrived at Whitby Abbey in the late afternoon as the sun was going down, I didn't have time to visit the village. I would like to go on the Dracula Experience although I have heard mixed reviews.
After a very long drive I did not have time to walk the famous 199 steps either. These lead down from the abbey to the harbour and have featured in many Dracula films. In the book Dracula in the form of a dog runs up the steps after leaving the wrecked ship. This was not the largest abbey I have visited although it is a beautiful site and very eerie. It is said to be haunted by a nun who was bricked up in the dungeon or cellar.I am looking forward to seeing Whitby again soon as it is definitely a place I want to explore in more detail.
Whitby was also the setting of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel Sylvia's Lovers.