A Haunted Bridge at Baldon House
13 January 2022
The bridge across the lake at Baldon House is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the family who died there in a tragic accident in the late nineteenth century.
Tragedy at Marsh Baldon
The tragedy happened to the residents at Baldon House, presumably members of the Willoughby family who had owned the manor house at Marsh Baldon since 1754.
According to the account in Supernatural Stories, Ghost Stories and Strange Tales from Oxford & Shire By John Richardson, the family were enjoying a carriage ride across their property and were crossing the bridge over the lake (marked 'fish pond' on the map above) when the old bridge gave way, plunging the carriage and its occupants into the water where they drowned.
Curious burial arrangements
The bodies of the family were recovered, but they were then subjected to some unusual burial arrangements, according to Richardson's account.
The family were initially buried near a summer house on the grounds of Baldon House, before then being moved and reburied 1.5 miles away at Nuneham Park.
The bodies were then dug up a second time, and returned to be reburied at 'their final resting place on the grounds of Baldon House'.
This is very curious as Baldon House stands next to the parish church of St. Peter's, a mere hundred metres or so from where the accident occurred. Why would the family not be immediately buried there, particularly considering that the church already contained monuments to a number of their ancestors?
Locals from Marsh Baldon have reported seeing ghostly repeats of the accident, as a spectral carriage glides across the grounds of Baldon House and over the lake where the bridge once stood.
Photos of Baldon House, including its grounds and lake can be seen at baldonhouse.co.uk.
- 'Supernatural Stories, Ghost Stories and Strange Tales from Oxford & Shire' By John Richardson (Lulu.com, 2018, ISBN: 9780244202972)