Ghosts of Westrop House

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.

On another occasion a mother and her son, who were living there at the time, were preparing to go to bed when there was a knock on the door. On opening it they saw the figure of a man standing there which gradually faded away as they watched.

On a more humorous note Squire Crowdy also appears among the legends and stories connected to the house. Alfred Williams mentions him in his book 'Round and About the Upper Thames'. Obviously of an eccentric and troubled nature, Crowdy used to walk the streets of Highworth with a halter around his neck, with the rope trailing on the ground, apparently doing some form of penance for a misdemeanour known only to himself. After his death his spirit was said to have returned to walk the streets of the town with the halter around his neck. He was also said to appear holding the shafts of a coach, drawing it noisily up and down the yard and in front of the house. Wearied of these events the townspeople finally decided to lay the ghost. The Vicar, bailiff and jurymen were approached, and one night they set out for the squire's house, now locked up and deserted. The ritual proved difficult to carry out as the spirit was resentful and resisted the efforts of the parson to pacify it. At last it consented on the condition that it be allowed to enter a barrel of cider and remain there. All proceeded to the cellar where there was a large barrel full of apple juice. The bung was taken out, the spirit entered, and the hole was securely stopped up again. The local mason and his men were called out of their beds and the door of the cellar was bricked up, and that was the last that was ever seen or heard of the squire's ghost.

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Our Next Monthly Guest Speaker

March 25th 2019
‘Thirty Five Shillings’ by Andy Binks.
Andy Binks is back to talk on his time at the GWR works. He starts with joining the apprentice school. Andy has a vast collection of railway photos and always gives a lively talk.

April 29th 2019
‘The GWR house and village’ by Michael Stubbs.
The small house has now been taken over by The Mechanics' Institution Trust. It is being refurbished and is once again open on certain dates. This talk includes the story of the first family to live there.

Prices for Lectures:
Members: Free of charge
Visitors: £3.00.

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If you have any information, documents or photographs regarding the history of Highworth and surrounding villages and are willing for us to include them on this website we would love to hear from you.

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