Right smack in the middle of England, you can find the small city of Derby, a region in the East Midlands. This is an area not far from being the Heart of England and is popular for being the most haunted region in the country! It is even considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the home of the Rolls-Royce. Naturally, with all these amazing wonders, we had to stop here to meet up with a friend of mine who is a native of the region for a few days.
But before I could come here, I had to have an important lesson. The folks of this region are known for calling people “Duck”, but not in any strange way where they might think you quack, quack like a duck or waddle like a duck. Don’t be alarmed if you hear someone call you “Duck” but keep in mind that it is merely a form of greeting in this region.
Just a heads up though before you visit, check your pronounciation! It’s not DER-BY, but DAR-BY!
Just some things to see and do while in Derby!
The Cathedral of All Saints, also known as the Derby Cathedral was founded in 943 and has since been rebuilt several times, leaving almost no traces behind of the original structure. However, in the 1720s the church was knocked down and replaced by another version of the church, leaving behind only the clock tower which dates all the way back to the 1530s! Although, the clock on the tower might looks small from a distance, it is said to be 12 feet round!
If you’re a history fanatic and a movie buff like I am, you will enjoy some nifty information. The Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Cavandish, who is portrayed by Keira Knightly in the movie, The Duchess, is buried here. She became famous during her time because of her amazing sense of fashion, catastrophic love affairs, her gambling and her role in politics. Also, Bess of Hartwick is buried here who is famous for having built Chatsworth House. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to see this. Bess became enormously wealthy from several marriages and was required to hold Mary, Queen of Scots under house arrest for an extended period of time by the orders of Queen Elizabeth I.
As mentioned before, Derby is considered to be the most haunted town in the entire UK with the most reported sightings of ghosts, poltergeists and other supernatural phenomena’s! My friend Cheri even has her own poltergeist stories which she shared with us while visiting! The stories I heard about gave me a right shiver down my spine and made me want to say “I see dead people!” Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to actually see any ghostly figures lurking about! Or did I mean fortunately!
As we were walking around, we came upon a pub called Jorrocks. A sign caught my attention that stated that it is one of the oldest pubs in Derby and the MOST HAUNTED pub in Derbyshire. As we were standing there reading the sign, a jolly fellow overheard us talking and stopped to give us some extra information. Down a small alley to the side of the pub behind a gate, there is a window with bars on it on the left hand side. No one can figure out how to get to the window as there is no way from the outside, nor is there a way from the inside.
According to GhostPubs.com, Jorrocks dates back to 1688. Bonnie Prince Charles set up camp at this pub, then known at the George Inn. with the help of the Duke of Devonshire, who was the husband of Georgiana Cavandish, he tried to seize the British Crown but failed. Just in front of the old Silk Mill is a statue of Bonnie Prince Charles dedicated to his failed attempt. Chances are that he was murdered and some years ago, workers finally found a skull, skeleton, shoes, and other items in a pit. As a result, Jorrocks exhibits ghostly manifestations. One ghost is a man with long hair and a blue coat. Witnesses have frequently seen him on the landing. Since that time, however, curious poltergeist activities have taken place. For instance, steel buckets apparently move of their own accord. Beer barrels move away from fastenings. Reporters have heard strange moaning sounds in the cellar. There is also the occasional manifestation of the figure of a woman with a misty outline.
Pretty spoooooky stuff, eh Duck!?
Further ahead, we made it to the Ye Old Dolphin Inne, which again claims that they are one of the oldest ale houses in England which dates back to 1530. Again, this pub also has it’s fair share of ghostly hauntings which includes a grey figure. The story goes something like this: Part of the pub once belonged to a doctor and was not always a part of the pub. There used to be an old chute which lead to the cellar. Ransacking graves was a profitable job during this time and the good doctor paid for bodies to be delivered so that he could study the human body. In one of the body sacks, to his utter horror, upon opening the sack found that his cadaver was still alive!
Naturally we had to stop here and enjoy a pint of good ol’ English beer!
Seeing as how Derby is home to the Industrial Revolution which was the first stepping stone to changing the history of the world as we know it, it was only necessary to check out the old Derby Silk Mill which is also a World heritage Site. It has since been turned into a museum dedicated to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). It is open 4 days a week and is free to go in! Naturally, we did and we got to play with trains and stuff, eh duck! CHOO-CHOOOO!
Also, there is the St. Peter’s Church which is in the town center, surrounded by a shopping center and other small shops. It just recently celebrated 950 years and dates back to the 11th century! It is also said this church has had reports of ghostly figures hanging around, possibly from when public hangings took place in front of the church. They say you can only see the ghosts from the waist up because the ground has risen over the years.
One last interesting thing to see while in Derby is the Derby Guidhall which is the symbolic seat of the local government which dates back to 1841 after it replaced the older building which was destroyed in a fire.
For more interesting information of other recorded hauntings, check out these websites!
There are even city walking tours for those interested in visiting some of the haunted places! (Uh, nooo thank you!)
Have you ever seen/heard/felt a ghost? Tell your story here!
For more blogs about our trip to England:
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