Westrop House is a beautiful house situated in Cricklade Road and built circa 1818 for Squire William Crowdy. In the 1980's work was going on in the hallway of the property. A decorator was pasting wallpaper when he looked up to see a lady in a long dress on the gallery. The experience is said to have shaken him so much that he went home for the rest of the day.
The Cricklade Road Crossing has been the scene of a number of haunting incidents said to have arisen from accidents which had occurred there during the operation of the Highworth branch line. Accident black spots such as this are said to be related to geophysical energies.
Westrop Cottage in Cricklade Road, Highworth has a secret hiding in it's back garden. The 17th century cottage has winding tunnels which originally ran from Westrop House next door to stable buildings which were used by servants which needed to keep themselves out of sight.
There is a story told in Highworth of the ghost of a farmer who was killed when returning home after a hunt. Legend has it that the event happened on Home Farm although there is no proof of this.
The tale says that the farmer had been out hunting all day and returned home very weary and on an extremely tired horse. As was usual he rode the horse into the stable where it was normally unsaddled, where suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the horse reared and threw its rider. Unfortunately for the farmer he fell heavilly and broke his neck.
The ghost which it is said haunts the 500 year old King and Queen is supposed to be that of a hunchbacked monk who is dressed in white robes. The pub was once a monastery and the ghost probably dates from that time. It is thought that the monk was killed when it was discovered that he had broken his chastity vows and there have been many sightings in the pub yard where he walks towards the old stables. At other times he is seen around St Michaels church.
This small group of houses was built in 1984 on the site of the former stable yard which once belonged to Westrop House. A complex of covered and vaulted stone passages built circa 1818, and accessed from No. 24 Cricklade Road, lie between Westrop House and Copper Beeches. Some further remnants of these tunnels run under the gravelled driveway to Westrop House and Copper Beeches. Believed to have once provided service access for servants to an ice house, hot houses, stables and kitchen gardens, this area has since become associated with stories of a phantom white lady who has been seen on at least two occasions.
Probably the most well documented of Highworth's ghost stories is the sighting, by four people on 11th April 1907, of the figure of a man in St Michael's church. The initial report came from the Society for Psychical Research who had obtained a statement within a week of the occurrence. The statement, made by J. Graham Arkell on 11th April 1907 is as follows....
It was back in 1969 that the hunchback ghost of Pentylands Lane made itself visible to about 20 Highworth teenagers according to a report in a local newspaper. It all started in October when youth club members were returning from a charity walk along the lane. They say they saw a 'white figure' moving across the fields and according to one witness, "It was about 10.30pm and there was a full moon.