Little Lawford Hall

The haunted hall

Stable block to Lawford Hall.
Photo courtesy of Anne Langley

Little Lawford Hall had an unfortunate history involving a ghost and a murder. It belonged to the Boughton family and in Elizabethan times one of them lost an arm.

The one-armed ghost

After his death it was said that ‘one-handed Boughton’ haunted his bedroom and drove around the countryside in a coach drawn by six horses. In the 18th century an attempt was made to exorcise his ghost by a dozen local clergymen; the ghost was trapped into a bottle and thrown into a clay pit. However the ghost was supposed to be allowed out to ride through the countryside for a couple of hours every night and sightings were still reported. A bottle was found in a pond nearby in the 19th century and said to be that used to confine the ghost; it was returned to the Boughton family at Brownsover Hall.

The owner poisoned

In 1780 Sir Theophilus Boughton was found dead in Lawford Hall; foul play was suspected and his brother-in-law Captain Donellan, married to Theophilus’s sister Theodosia, was arrested and charged with murder – he had designs on inheriting the estate through his wife. He was found guilty of poisoning his brother-in-law with laurel water and hanged in Warwick the following year. The family decided to demolish the Hall in the 1790s and move elsewhere in an attempt to erase the unhappy memories.

Stable block

The building shown above was originally the stables to Little Lawford Hall, and has now been turned into a fine dwelling house. The date inset over the front porch is 1604, which may be the date it was first built.

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