Bretherton Bank Hall, Lancashire

Bretherton Bank Hall Haunted?

Is Bretherton Bank Hall haunted by the ghostly figure of a woman walking her dog?

Bretherton Bank Hall stands by the River Douglas in the Lancashire village of Bretherton, 9 miles from Preston, 25 from Liverpool. Tarleton, Croston and Hoole are nearest villages and towns. From Tarleton the Bretherton Bank Hall  can be reached via Bank Bridge which carries the A59 over the Douglas and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

Immediately you cross the busy bridge you will see the lodge and it’s gates nestling beneath the huge beech tree. Coming from Hoole, also on the A59, your imminent approach will take you past Carr House, a fine Elizabethan farmhouse, and the 18th century windmill. From Bretherton the route is altogether more tranquil, along a country lane dotted with only a handful of houses and along a Carriage Drive, a splendid tree lined avenue some 800 yards long. Whichever way we approach the hall we pass through the cloak of trees which hides it away from the outside world.

Not the most well known building in the country, it is, nevertheless one of the most beautiful and interesting. Yet one could pass by every day and be unaware of its existence, the lofty chimneys and the remnants of the clock tower only faintly glimpse over the tree tops. Indeed, only the lodge gives a clue to the fact that there, behind the pines and past the huge sixty metre barn lies a veritable jewel.

Bank Hall is now unoccupied. It has deteriorated to a very poor reflection of its former glory. Gone are the lime trees which flanked the drive to the front door. Gone are the stone lions that faithfully stood guard. The giant cedar with its huge spreading branches no longer casts its graceful shadow over the pleasure grounds. The tall chimneys have become overgrown with ivy, which has now claimed more than half of the building. The majestic clock tower has lost its northerly elevation which has fallen into the stairwell below, crashing through the seventeenth-century oak staircase. Dry rot has penetrated the fabric of the building with whole sections of the floor falling down and rain pouring through gaping holes in the roof.

Despite the devastation that time and neglect has brought to the great house, it still retains an air of distinction and the very nature of its ruinous state adds to the mystique that encompasses the entire site. In the solitude of early morning, shrouded in mist, the rocks call from their look out in the tower. What events have taken place in the centuries of Bank Halls’ existence? What changes has it witnessed in the conditions of English rural life?

Bank Hall belongs to a period very different to ours, a time of servants and gardeners, butlers and coachmen. Such vast houses had no place after The Great War and gradually became left to dereliction and decay, owner and local authority alike unable to halt the decline. Perhaps it is due to the concealed and veiled nature of Bank Hall that so little appears to be commonly known about the details of its history. Indeed, most people from Leyland or Chorley, for example, would be at a loss to answer the question “Where is Bank Hall?” even though it is little more than five miles from either.
Bank Hall is a two-and-a-half storey brick built house with roofs of Cumbrian slate standing in formerly ornamental parkland. It has a north-facing entrance front and south-facing garden front.

The earliest identifiable phase of the present building dates from the early 17th century and is characterised by brick work in English garden wall bond. The ground consists of a four-bay hall with a parlour to the west and wing containing two rooms to the east.

Probably in the second quarter of the 17th century a four-storey stair tower was added in the re-entrant angle of the hall and wing. This retains it original open well staircase. An addition east of the south end of the wing and incorporating a ground floor room, may be contemporary with the stair tower.

In1832-33 the house was extensively remodelled, probably by the Kendal-based architect, George Webster, in an early example of 19th-century Jacobean style. The main entrance porch on the north side, a drawing room wing at the west end, extensive service accommodation at the east and probably the north wing, were all added in this phase. At the same time the south, or garden front was considerably altered. The angle formed by the 17th century house and the west wing was infilled in the late-19th century.

There have been reports that a woman in a white dress has been spotted walking her dog in the distance from the gates of the Bretherton Bank Hall.
Its is said she and her pet vanish without a trace the moment you take your eyes off her.

Other reports from Bretherton Bank Hall  include the whispering of peoples names in visitors ears when no one else is close.

Bretherton Bank Hall Website

Loves a good ghost story, especially whilst sat in front of an open log fire on a cold and dark winters night.

8 Comments on "Bretherton Bank Hall, Lancashire"

  1. michael says:

    Hi there, just a little story for you here about Bretherton bank hall barns. I have recently just moved out of living in the hayloft ( one of the converted barns there) in Bretherton which is basically opposite ‘the bank hall’.
    The reason why my family and I moved out was because there was obviously some sort of past history unlike normal dwellings… There are three floors, the top floor being the attic space, the upstairs comprising of two bedrooms, an en-suite and a landing. The bad things seemed to happen mostly in the attic space, i.e things like strange noises in the night, a weird vibe and also the house just didn’t seem to like us for whatever reason. We unfortunately encountered some bad luck and happenings that normal houses don’t usually have. Also the house is at the end of the row of house convertions which makes it closer to the actual ‘ grand bank hall itself’. Which made us all more venerable and unsafe. The house inside only has few if so very small windows and has been known for the woman in the white dress watching windows, back in her day!.

    • Hello Michael,
      Please feel free to expand upon the negative aspect you felt at the property. Sounds most intriguing.
      It has been reported before to myself by several readers of Haunted Island, where by people living in a property have the distinct feeling they are not welcome and are being encouraged to move out.
      Perhaps this is the presence of past owners an or tenants who made the property their own during their time period…

      • Lucie says:

        Hi, I live at the hayloft now, I was wondering if you could maybe expand on what you’ve said? I’ve started hearing things in the house and was hoping you could give me some more info. It would be interesting to see what you heard and if I’m hearing the same things too.

  2. Claire St-Cyr says:

    Here goes! First of all, i am a francophone from the province of Québec in Canada. So, i might do a mistake or two or a dozen. Be indulgent!
    I have a few good ghost stories.
    Once, I rented an apartment in a town 100 kms away from my birth town. I didn’t know the history of the place. I soon had incredible nightmares. I still believe, to this day, that I have never experienced anything as worst in the field of nightmares. A while after we had moved in, a neighbour told my husband that a girl had committed suicide in the bedroom, she shot herself in the head. I do believe that she was still around. I would wake up in the middle of the night and could feel a presence. I never saw anything. But I had nightmares, felt a strange pressure on all my body and … sensed a true feeling of presence, like if someone was staring at me.

    Also, in 2005, I was in Marseilles, France. I was hiking on the island of Frioul. In June, on a beautiful day, I felt like if I was in paradise so much the scenery was breathtaking. And suddenly, I had visions. Internal visions. “Oh no! I recall, not here.”
    A man was being tossed down the cliff. His body and head was wrapped, covered entirely, in a grey-beige blanket like a thick linen cloth, but.. I knew he was still alive. 2 men had to go down and toss him again because he had not fallen on the first fall directly in the waters of the Mediterranean sea. Blood stains on the ivory rocks of the cliff was a reminder for the 2 men. I have a strong feeling that the victim was a member of the French Resistance and the 2 men? They were German soldiers. I kept walking, disturbed by the vision, and i found remains of German Bunkers facing the Sea. So, there, in Paradise, I saw the face of the Second World War. Though I haven’t seen any ghost, I experienced the vision of the poor man being tossed alive down a cliff, into the sea and in the first bunker, I entered , I strangely felt a presence. Cold, sad, helpless, hiding, eternal… a German soul! ( very strange experience )

    And 3rd, I wrote a book. A novel. In French. Here in Quebec. It’s called LE SPECTRE DU CENTURION. Some anglophone friends have asked me to translate my novel. So, to begin, I started with the title:
    The Centurion’s ghost!!! And I did a few research on this title: could I use it? As it been used? and … YES!!! It’s been used already.
    Apparently, some people did see ghosts of Roman soldiers and a bear in Northern UK (near the Hadrian wall) is called Centurion’s ghost. Again, I truly have the feeling that during the time I was writing the first draft of the novel: “HE” was with me. Believe it or not. I question myself and asked my family doctor if I was a schizo. He knows me, laughed and accepted to let me pass a scan in order to calm me. He found nothing out of the ordinary.

    Anyway, today, I feel at peace. I don’t think the Centurion is near me still. I have called my story : a novel! like if it was a fiction but I truly don’t know if it could be real or not. I do not want to waste my time & energy trying to figure out if it is possible or not. I give up. I think it’s just a simple mystery.

    Ghostly yours,


  3. John says:

    Here is the new bank hall website currently under construction,
    There is also said to be a headless horseman that gallops up the front drive

  4. Michelle says:

    Dont know why it trying to get me im a mother of 4 and so normal but at nights something is wakeing me up in strange places like the corner of my wall in bed room and have woke up on the toilet. pictures have been flying of the wall at me! somthing is out 2 get me dont know what but I’m scared.

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