The Hurrying Ghost of Corve Street, Ludlow
Without doubt Ludlow is one of the most charming towns in Shropshire, indeed in England. It stands perched on top of a hill almost surrounded by the waters of the Teme and Corve rivers. Over a thousand years ago this hilltop was fortified against raiding Welshmen, but it was in 1085 that Roger Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, began to build the mighty castle that dominates the town to this day.
Nearby, in Corve Street, stands St Leonard’s Chapel. This small building has been deconsecrated and put to secular use, but this has done nothing to deter the phantom who haunts the area. This is the ghost of William Owen, a hugely successful portrait painter who became the favourite of King George IV in his days as Prince Regent. Owen was born in Ludlow and returned there whenever his work permitted.
It was on one such visit that Owen fell ill with a minor sickness. The local doctor prescribed a medicine to cure the painter and sent a boy off to the chemist that was then in Corve Street to fetch it. Tragically, the boy picked up the wrong bottle and inadvertently gave Owen deadly poison instead of medicine. Realising something was wrong, Owen set out for the chemist’s shop, but the poison overpowered him before he got there. He turned in towards the chapel, perhaps seeking divine aid, and fell dead.
It is Owen whose ghost has been seen hurrying along the pavement as if in urgent need, then turning aside towards the chapel. He is, it must be assumed, recreating his last fatal journey.
Haunted Places of Shropshire [Paperback]
Rupert Matthews (Author)
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