Colwick Church, Nottingham|Ruins of St John| History | Ghost Stories and Our investigation!

All traces of the ancient church of Colwick have disappeared, for the present church was built by Sir John Byron, of Colwick, who, in 1540, acquired the site of the Priory of Newstead. It is hard to understand why he should have rebuilt Colwick Church during the troubled times immediately succeeding the dissolution of the monasteries, and harder still to understand how he came to establish a chantry in his new church some years after chantries had been abolished. But he did both these things, and Colwick Church must be one of the very few churches built in the country at a time when interest in ecclesiastical matters was not only unfashionable but positively dangerous.

The Byrons left Colwick in 1643 and settled at Newstead, and soon after this date the Musters came to Colwick. In order to celebrate the Restoration of Charles II. to the throne of his forefathers, Sir John Musters, in the year 1661, removed the panelling from the dining-room of the Hall, and set it up in the Church, using it as a dado. This dado consists of thirty or more panels carved in low relief with scrolls and masks, and are both beautiful and interesting.

The east window is filled with glass painted by Mrs. Sophia Musters some century or so ago, and she copied as her design the celebrated windows in the Chapel of New College, Oxford, which were designed by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The gateway in the churchyard is an excellent example of Nottingham wrought ironwork. It is contemporary with the Hall, that is to say it was made about 1776. A second gate is preserved in Nottingham Castle, and about it an interesting tale is told. When the rioters wrecked the Hall in 1831 they appear to have thrown this gateway into the lake, where it lay rusting and forgotten for many years. It was recovered accidentally, and set up when the churchyard was enlarged at the end of last century.

Hauntings of the St John’s Ruins Church as recorded on paranormal database

A women in white has been seen wandering around the gate of the church, this woman is thought to be looking for an unknown item. The ruined church itself is home to a tall man who has been seen standing at the location the altar once stood.

Hauntings of the Colwick Hall

One of two ghosts said to visibly manifest in this area, Mrs Chaworth Musters reputedly hides behind trees on the land, concealing herself from the mob that stormed the hall in 1832. The second phantom is named as Mary Ann Chaworth, and she quietly haunts the corridors. Less quietly, the sounds of footsteps, childrens’ laughter and voices have all been heard from the servants’ quarters. One witness awoke to the sounds of shouting and the feeling of being poked by an unseen presence.

Hauntings of the Woods directly at the back of the Church near the lake of the hall.

The ghosts of a white woman and of two children have been reported in this wooded area. While the woman in white has been named as Mary Chaworth Musters, the children are thought to have been murdered by their father, William Saville, who was hanged for the crime in 1844. The sound of horses has also been reported.

Here is a detailed summary of the horrific murder I could find:


Numerous people over the years have posted in forums and on sites of there experiences here. Here are just a few

Nina Smith, Bakersfield Nottingham England:

”I was out in my boyfriends car in October the 13th 2001, when all of us decided to go to the Colwick hall..(old church with no roof) all of the floor was covered with mist it was so weird, anyway me and my boyfriend and his mate got out the car for a laugh and made our way to the gates of the church, my sister stayed in the car because she was scared. It was pitch black however when we looked at the car we could see a clear outline of my sister because Nottingham greyhounds lights were lit, anyway as we got to the gates I got to scared so I turned around to look at the car and I could see my sister rocking backwards a forwards, but the most strange thing of all was the horrible noise I could hear. It was almost as if someone was weeping, I’m talking really crying and whining, as my boyfriend and his mate stopped with me I told them I was going back to the car to see if my sister was alright but they went ahead anyway in to the church, as I raced back! to the car scared stiff and worried about her. I sat in the front seat turned around to ask her ‘Why was you crying?’ she laughed in my face and said i wasn’t crying I was on the phone to mum!!!!!!! u may not think it was scary but if u was there at the time oh my god it was horrible ……… ”


In my final year at secondary school a lad in our class nicknamed ‘Zoonie’ after the Fireball XL5 creature came in one morning and told us of two ghosts he had seen the night before. We ribbed him but a few days later he told of another sighting. He saw the apparitions in Colwick Woods a way down past the spring. A group of us went up one clear night to check it out and sure enough saw nothing. However, undeterred we went back one slightly misty night and watched as two hunched figures flitted silently from left to right across the clearing in the wood. We were all startled to say the least but vowed to get to the bottom of this apparition. After a period of sitting quietly we saw it again. At the same time we saw car lights rounding a bend in a road across the other side of the Trent beyond the level crossing at the exit to the woods. The lights were reflecting in the mist and rounding the bend gave the impression of glowing figures crossing the wood as it did so. We laughed ’til we stooped when we made the discovery!

Our investigation

Present: Charlene Lowe Kemp, Chrissie Rising, Dave Rising and Aimee Sirdifield.

We didnt get too much in the church ruins, we found more was picked up on in the woodland area and the lake at the side of the main hall.

Witches or 3 ladies was picked up on who was believed to have been drowned in the lake for witchcraft.

It is apparently local legend that witchcraft was practiced in these woods but I can not see any recorded history of such.

Chrissie became very breathless and was struggling to breathe around the lake.

Numberous pieces of devices was triggered around chrissie picking up on numberous environment changes.

Very responsive spirit box session around the lake from what sounded like a lady. We asked who had murdered her and Mr Lumley was mentioned. This could relate to another Nottingham famous estate which was owned by the Lumley-Savile family! Families of big estates would coummicute and most often than not would visit each others estates….

Viewers reported at the time seeing a lady in the lake.. Here are two screenshots captured. Now, the skeptical minded will say this is nothing more than pareidolia but I am open minded and I wouldn’t underestimate the energies of the moon either.

I have since found out that there is a lady reported to haunt the lake and she is dubbed the lady of the lake….

I found this entry in a forum to back this up. Entry posted by a lady named pixie

” Another famous one is the Lady of the lake in Colwick park. I used to work at Colwick hall… my shift started at 5am – 6pm, so was pretty dark when I started. Someone told me the lady of the lake used to walk across a certain corridor.. I was quite sceptical about it n just went ahead doing my house keeping duties. I saw a women looking at me out the corner of my eye through one of the windows, from what i saw – very pale! I went to the staff room to inform the person who was on at the time there was a women on the grounds peeking through windows, We checked all camera & saw nothing. I used to see shadows under doors, things out the corner of my eye, footsteps when only I was around… etc. Spooky place! I never rained there long, I couldn’t cope so I left. Although i do miss working there, i just couldn’t cope with being on the verge of a heart attack brought on by fear! lol.”

Here is our live if you would like to watch it

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