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Mystical Stories Of Combermere Abbey

Estate – 02.09.22


‘Spooky season’ is approaching, so we thought we’d celebrate by sharing some good old campfire tales. From ghosts caught on camera to secret tunnels, there are many stories that have emerged from Combermere Abbey in our nearly 900-year-old existence! So, settle down and journey back in time with us through the myths and legends that were born from the estate.

Ley Lines Through The North Wing

Ley lines running through the globe, credit:

Ley lines are thought to be a web of earth energy lines that connect the universe. According to Alfred Watkins who ‘discovered’ them in 1921, “at the places they intersect, there are pockets of concentrated energy, that can be harnessed by certain individuals”. In Combermere Abbey’s North Wing, would you believe that you can discover one of these exact spots?! Marked by an ancient stone that was discovered during the restoration process, guests of our B&B can take a look at the find which is now showcased under a glass panel, and try their hand at standing over it to see if they feel a spiritual difference.

Our marker stone on display, try standing on it if you visit the North Wing!

The Secret Tunnel To The Pub

When the urge for a tipple takes you, wouldn’t you just love a shortcut to the pub? Well, legend has it that deep in the mere is a secret tunnel that leads you directly to The Combermere Arms. This charming Brunning & Price venue has a history that dates back to 1540, which has been lovingly preserved where possible by its owners over the centuries. We don’t recommend trying out this jaunt underwater, but it is definitely worth a walk to from our cottages or North Wing for your dinner.

A Bottled Ghoul

We’re not finished with The Combermere Arms just yet, as it too has an intriguing supernatural history. In the ‘Cheshire Village Book’ of the 1990s, a story that appears more than once is that of two clergymen who tackled a ‘troublesome ghost’ in the pub by trapping it – Ghostbusters-style – in a glass bottle! They then buried the bottle under the front steps of the pub, and legend warns that if it is ever broken or disturbed, the ghost would be released. In more recent years, the best ‘bottled spirits’ you’ll discover are behind the bar at the pub, best enjoyed by the cosy log fire on a cool autumn evening.

Gold In The Lake

We’ll tell you this one if you promise there’ll be no diving to try and discover any ancient treasure! When the ‘wicked monks’ that once inhabited Combermere Abbey were forced to leave by Henry VIII, there are rumours that they tossed their gold and silver into the mere to avoid it being taken by the ‘Sheriff’ or tax man. To this day none has been discovered despite trying, so we’re inclined to believe this may be no more than an interesting story. However, with the Crewe and Nantwich Metal Detecting Club once uncovered an ancient papal bull the size of a £2 coin found under a  buried piece of lead near the Abbey! It dates from the 1300’s during the time of Pope Innocent IV. A piece of historical treasure.

This isn’t quite the gold we hope may be under the lake, but it was a very interesting find all the same!

Built-In Lucky Charms

Over the years of restoring Combermere, many historic artefacts have been discovered, from old fire extinguishers to centuries-old glass bottles. Guests who join us for a tour can view them where they’re now stored, in the Game Larder.  Perhaps the one that excited the restoration team the most though, was a small shoe and horseshoe from the 1700s found in between the floors. What first may have been seen as some misplaced everyday items, actually turned out to have a much more mystical meaning. Extensive research concluded that it’s more likely these shoes were placed here strategically, for luck and to ward off unwanted spirits and ghouls. When you read on to our next story, you may think it fortunate these items remained within the walls through the next century.

A man’s shoe and a large horseshoe were uncovered during the restoration work at Combermere Abbey

These shoes are now being preserved and maintained within Combermere Abbey

Combermere Abbey’s Resident Ghost

Finally, we’ve saved the best until last! One of the most popular supernatural images in the world was taken at no other than Combermere Abbey. This photograph of Lord Combermere sitting in his chair in the library may look fairly inconspicuous, perhaps just badly developed. This is until you learn that at the exact time it was taken, the Viscount was actually being buried at Wrenbury church four miles away.  The picture was snapped by his sister a keen amateur photographer Sybell Corbet and it was thought that the photographic exposure recorded took about an hour while she was attending the funeral herself. The resemblance is remarkable. Paranormal experts have since visited Combermere Abbey and felt several ‘presences’ but there’s been no further hard evidence of any spooky spirits since this image from 1891. We’ll let you make your own minds up when it comes to this one!

One of the most famous ghostie photographs in the world… What do you think?

If you love history, then there’s nothing to be refuted about the fact that Combermere Abbey is a fabulous place to explore. Whether visiting us for a tour (which are offered all year round for private groups for as small as 2 up to 20 persons) or immersing yourself in history with a night in our North Wing, there’s much magic to be discovered here. You can check availability directly on our website. Please note the North Wing of the abbey (as well as our grounds) is for private holiday use only and only certain rooms can be explored during tour times too.