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Torre Abbey Torquay Devon


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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 12:58:16 pm »

Torquay’s Spanish Spectre, Devon

Torre Abbey Historic House in Torquay was originally a monastery, founded at the end of the twelfth century. Just about every ancient monastery boasts a haunting by a former resident, and Torre Abbey is no different, with a headless monk said to walk there. But far more interesting, romantic even, is the story of its more famous ghost. The story also throws some light on one of our greatest historic moments, and a none too flattering light either.
In 1588 Devon’s most celebrated son, Francis Drake, helped defeat the Spanish Armada. One Spanish ship captured in the conflict was brought to Torquay, and the nearly 400 men on board were crammed into the old tithe barn of the by then dissolved abbey. Except that one of them was not a man, but a young woman in disguise, found out when an English priest was called to give her the last rites – the rats, filth, disease and sheer overcrowding almost completely wiped out the prisoners.
Her story is not known for sure. Some postulate she was perhaps newly married, smuggled on board the Spanish galleon by her husband who could not bear to part with his bride. Some think she and her lover may have hoped for booty to make their lives in England once it fell, as it probably would had the Armada managed to land the powerful Spanish infantry force it carried.
Whatever the young woman’s story, her ghost is said to wander near the barn, and has been seen walking along the seafront, making its way back to the entrance of the ad hoc prison where she and most of her comrades perished, in effect murdered by their captors.


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