Raynham Hall - Norfolk, England

Raynham Hall
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Raynham Hall (or sometimes "Rainham Hall") in Norfolk, England, was constructed between 1619 to 1637, and for around four-hundred years was the seat of the Townshend family. From 1725 to 1732, a north wing was added and much interior decoration was added.

The hall is claimed to have a ghostly inhabitant called the "Brown Lady," named for a brown brocade dress the spectre is said to wear. Actual reported sightings of this ghost are surprisingly few and far between, but from early on it was decided that the identity of this apparition was that of Lady Dorothy Walpole [1686-1726], sister of Robert Walpole [1676-1745], who is generally considered to be the first Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Lady Dorothy married Charles Townshend [1674-1738] in 1713, and had seven children. According to popular legend, Lady Dorothy's husband became angry when he discovered she had an affair with a notorious womanizer -- Thomas Wharton -- before they had married, and he punished her by locking her in her rooms for the remainder of her life.

It is further claimed that her official death is listed as 'smallpox,' but she may have been pushed down a stairwell instead... and that her husband Charles may have held a mock funeral to hide all of the above from friends and relatives. Exciting as all of that is, there's enough question about the matter that I'm currently investigating the circumstances of Lady Dorothy Townshend's death, and will add the resulting article to the Mysteries section of Anomalies when I'm done.

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