Spooky UK Gothic Buildings
As the nights draw in and Halloween approaches thoughts turn to ghoulish things and haunted places.
Gothic buildings have long been associated with spooky goings on although they did not begin as such. In medieval Britain the gothic style was used in cathedrals, castles and universities. The high vaulted ceilings and large windows which are characteristic gothic features were in fact designed to create more light and be a symbol of faith or education.
Eventually Gothic architecture fell out of fashion and the straight clean lines of classical style in the 17th century replaced the pointed arches and ornate decorations. In the late 18th century Gothic architecture became entwined with the gothic novel which consisted of supernatural story elements set in decaying buildings. And the connection has remained ever since. In the UK we have no shortage of such places to visit just waiting to make the hairs on your arms stand up.
Here’s just three examples. Come and visit them with us, if you dare…
First on our list is a place associated with that most iconic of vampires -Dracula. The novel was written by Bram Stoker in 189 and the author is said to have found much inspiration for the book from a stay in Whitby. With the ruins of the spectacular gothic Whitby Abbey standing on the headland it’s not hard to see why. You can even follow the route Count Dracula, took from his crashed ship to the ruins, in the form of “an immense dog”
In Margam Country Park, South Wales stands an impressive Gothic Mansion built in 1830. It is said to be haunted by the spirit of a gamekeeper named Robert Scott who was thought to have been murdered by a poacher. In true gothic style he is said to be seen walking up and down the great stairs to the mansion. If that wasn’t frightening enough the laughter of Victorian children is supposed to echo through the building as they move objects.
The library is the oldest complete building in Manchester. It began as a residence for the clergy in the early 1400s and was turned into a library by Humphrey Chetham, a textile merchant, in 1653 making it the oldest public library in Britain. It is said that John Dee, an occultist and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I summoned the devil here as evidenced by a hoof mark burned into wood in one of the rooms. As a bookworm I’m just glad the books survived!
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