The Tombland area of Norwich (derived from the term "uninhabited land" – which in fact does not refer to anything associated with an unjust danger) – is a great attraction for tourists and locals alike, with many historic buildings surrounded by the majestic cathedral. And Elm Hill. The vicinity also has several excellent cafés and restaurants, including Tatlers and Erpingham House.
However, as Halloween approaches, it is appropriate to explore a lesser-known aspect of Tumbland, and life may not be the frequent visitor to cobbled streets.
The Maids Head & Samson & Hercules House Hotel is located on the edge of Tombland (formerly the Ritz, Central Park … recently redeveloped into apartments). Both have ghost stories associated with them, and when you explore their heritage a bit more, it may be easy to understand why. The maids date back to the 13th century, when it was called "turtle fish". The name is said to have changed after Queen Elizabeth I's visit to Norwich in 1578. Rumors of her stay at The Maids Head contradict the tales that were full at the time, so she actually stayed elsewhere in the vicinity. Like most places visited by the Royal Party in 1578, the Black Death or Plague was supposed to follow in its wake. He suggested that a member of the Great Party publish the plague while traveling from place to place and Norwich was no exception (although historians later questioned this claim). From August 1578 to February 1579 nearly 5,000 plague victims were registered in the city. In total nearly half of Norwich's population has perished from the plague during this time. While the mice flourished in narrow alleys, the cries of "Get out your Motic" rang across the city. As the number of bodies increased in huge numbers, official burials were abandoned in favor of mass graves or "plague digging". Loads of bodies were transported to the Cathedral Cathedral, which became a large burial area. The cemeteries behind St. George's Church are so high that they were raised to accommodate the large number of bodies.
The church allegedly played a more sinister role during this time, where it was the place where looters would take opportunistic dead if they were caught. Needless to say, having been tied up in the ankles and wrists, they will be dropped from the head of St. George's Church to the unforgiving land below. Their bodies, whether dead or still alive, then join the victims of the plague in the pits.
One of the largest plague pits in Norwich was dug down the site of Samsun and Hercules, which for many years was a nightclub under various names. Those who remember dancing during the night may not realize that they were also dancing on the bodies of about 5,000 plague victims! This unique gloomy feature, along with proximity to the cathedral, may be the root cause of many hunting tales and disturbances in the building over the years. These include the emergence of "Lady in Gray" (perhaps the ghost of a seemingly hungry girl to death in the adjacent Augustine Steward House (now become an antique shop) having stepped up during the plague?), Spectral monks, mysterious figures, and when the building was used as an association Young Christian women, frequent nightmares for their residents who were buried alive in a huge crater filled with dead bodies …
The Maids Head was also the site of reported scenes for an elderly lady in gray (the same "gray lady" as we saw in Samson & Hercules perhaps?). The staff and guests who saw her as she traveled around the hotel, often accompanied by the smell of lavender, predict that she was once a maid working at the hotel. The ghost of an old man – believed to be a former mayor – was also spotted shaking his head firmly in the yard.
Ghosts and spirits are often awakened when renovations take place in an old building, disturbing them with peaceful comfort. Note that both the former night club and the hotel have undergone repair and renovation in the recent past.
Other reported ghost events in the old Tombland area include the ghost of a hermaphrodite, soldiers, rebels and the sound of the slaughtered cavalry hooves of Oliver Cromwell on a cold night in January. Maybe it will take a brave spirit to wander around Tombland late this Halloween …?
Other places to visit in Norwich.