In the heart of Tottenham is a grand building called Bruce Castle which was once owned by the King of Scotland.
Bruce Castle, however, is a misnomer, as it is actually a manor house rather than a castle.
Despite this, it lives up to its grand name with a long history and has its very own ghost who appears on one night each year.
Surrounded by pretty grounds, including a 500-year-old oak, Bruce Castle is a great place to visit in North London, but if you want to see the ghost you’ll have to wait until November 3.
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The current manor house dates back to the 16th century, and was originally known as Lordship House.
The name Bruce Castle was adopted a century later when its owner found out Robert the Bruce, who seized the throne in Scotland, had owned a manor in the same location in the 13th century.
The haunting of Bruce Castle
In the 17th century Bruce Castle was home to Lady Constantina Lucy, who met her grizzly end while living there.
She had married Henry Hare, Lord Coleraine, who had inherited the manor house after his father had died while choking on a turkey bone.
Despite Lord Coleraine’s riches, as well as the son named Hugh the couple had together, the marriage was completely loveless.
Over time, their relationship became very sour and Lord Coleraine grew tired of his wife. He was rumoured to have been in love with another woman, the Duchess of Somerset.
To get his young wife out of the way, he reportedly locked Lady Constantia in a small room under the clock tower.
Here she was slowly driven mad by the loud sound of the clock ticking.
(Image: Wikipedia Commons)
On November 3, 1680, she escaped and threw herself off the balcony, her screams waking up the servants who ran out to find her on the ground.
Some versions of the story say she jumped with her child, killing him too.
After she died, Lord Coleraine went on to marry the Duchess of Somerset, who coincidentally had become a widow at the same time.
There are no records of her death, but she was reportedly buried in All Hallow Church.
Around 200 years after her death, a newspaper report told its readers that several people had spotted a ghost starring out the window one night in November.
It said: “The wild form can be seen as she stood on the fatal parapet, and her despairing cry is heard floating away on the autumnal blast.”
Bruce Castle today
In the 19th century the manor house became a school with Sir Rowland Hill as headteacher, the man who invented the postage stamp.
The school eventually closed in 1906 and the building was bought by the council.
It’s now one of the hidden gems of North London, with beautiful grounds and a free museum which is also home to the Haringey Archives.
The museum showcases the local history, including the history of Alexandra Palace.
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