Audley End House is featured in English Heritage’s collection of fictional ghost stories
PUBLISHED: 16:12 02 October 2017
English Heritage has published a set of chilling ghost stories with one set at Audley End House.
The collection, called Eight Ghosts, has been put together by award-winning authors including Mark Haddon and Jeanette Winterson.
Penning the Uttlesford-based tale was Essex Serpent author Sarah Perry, who visited the historic site for inspiration.
She said: “To revisit Audley End after at least twenty years was an odd experience. I arrived with very little idea of what I’d end up writing, but the minute I set foot in the Great Hall I knew where the haunting would be.
“When I go back, it will be with some trepidation, because I’ve almost convinced myself that awful thing happened to me.”
Audley End House has a rich history dating back to the seventeenth-century.
In the early 1600s, Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, took an earlier house created by his grandfather, Lord Audley, on the site of Walden Abbey.
He then decided to rebuild it on the scale of a royal palace.
By the 1760s, Robert Adam transformed it for Sir John Griffin Griffin, while Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown remodelled the grounds into one of England’s finest landscape gardens.
The collection of stories is the first time English Heritage has commissioned new works of fiction, and proceeds will go back into its conservation work.
Bronwen Riley, head of content at English Heritage, said: “The castles and stately homes of England have long inspired ghostly myths and legends, after all, white ladies, cursed souls and headless apparitions all need somewhere fitting to haunt.
“We wanted to challenge today’s writers to use these buildings and come up with a new twist on the English ghost story. Our writers have risen to this challenge magnificently.”
Other authors involved include Mark Haddon who has written about York Cold War Bunker, in North Yorkshire, while Jeanette Winterson has set her story at Pendennis Castle, in Cornwall.
The collection will be published sometime this month, before Halloween.
In celebration of the collection’s launch, Perry will be holding a special event at Audley End House on October 31 featuring a reading, Q&A session, and book signing.
The event is from 6.30-9.30pm and tickets are available from english-heritage.org.uk/audley.