Hall’s mystery marks keep witches at bay

If the approach to Halloween makes you nervous, Little Moreton Hall is offering a unique opportunity to see how the Tudors warded off witches and other spooks.

On two evenings before the end of October the ancient timber- framed building near Congleton will be the setting for special torch-lit tours, highlighting mysterious marks which were designed to protect the Moreton family and their friends.

Little Moreton Hall ⓒ Alan Ingram National Trust

Kate Picker, from the Hall, said, “Dark evenings will provide the ideal atmosphere to explore the strange and sometimes slightly sinister patterns inscribed on the hall’s timber frame in various parts of the building. We will also be looking at just what the Moretons were so desperate to keep out. Some of the marks were intended to trap witches. Others were designed to deter them.”

“Those include the candle flame marks which were burned into the oak beams throughout the building. They were fairly common in Tudor houses, but Little Moreton Hall has more than 250 of them! They are nearly all close to windows, doors and fireplaces; anywhere that might be an access-point for a witch.”

“Daytime visitors can see these marks at any time, but the spooky aura of the hall at night will provide a real insight into why the Moreton family- and the Tudors in general- took witches seriously. The tours will be led by our costumed Tudor gentlewomen, carrying lanterns, which will add to the atmosphere.”

“The tours are a special event, with an entry charge for everyone, and we suggest they are suitable for people over 12 years old. Our daytime activities for Hallowtide, from 26 October to 3 November, include some creepy stories which are suitable for younger children, apple games and the chance to make salt-dough charms.”

“During that week our regular house tours, which are always very popular, will be available or visitors can simply explore this wonderful old house for themselves.”

The torch-lit tours are on Friday 25 October and Saturday 26 October at 6.00pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, and 7.30pm.

The cost is £12 per head.

Pre-booking is essential. Book online or call 0344 249 1895.

For more information visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/littlemoretonhall or call 01260 272018.

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