Inside Grand Designs’ ‘haunted’ castle with a gruesome past – and how you can stay there
THOSE brave enough to do so have the option of staying in a castle that is said to be home to paranormal activity.
The impressive three-story folly was renovated on grand designs in 2018 and has a superb platform offering a panoramic view.
It sits atop a Saxon graveyard which was built in 1769 by Sir John Vanhattem, who also owned Dinton Hall nearby.
He used the folly to store his huge collection of fossils and ammonites, many of which were unearthed from the local chalk quarry.
A violent fire ravaged the old residence around 1800, after which it stood empty for almost 200 years.
But after more than 200 years of ruin, it was bought in 2016.
The optimistic couple who bought it for £165,000 were Jamie and Mimi Fernandez.
They then documented the restoration process for the popular television series Grand Designs in 2018.
It is well known to locals as being haunted – but few know of its associated history.
The monument is said to be haunted by the ghost of the royal executioner named John Bigg, also known as Dinton Hermit.
A nearby pub describes their pub’s namesake “The Dinton Hermit” as a man who aptly kept “three bottles around his waist, one containing milk and two containing beer”.
The hermit Dinton was born in 1629 and was the clerk of a solicitor named Simon Mayne.
It is believed that he ordered Bigg to execute the execution of King Charles I on January 30, 1649 outside Whitehall in London.
It is said that the ghost of the executioner still resides in the whimsical madness, which was sold by the Fernandez family last year.
Buyers have listed the allegedly haunted house on Airbnb in June and a night at Dinton Castle, which sleeps four, costs £250.
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