Pluckley shown within Kent
|Area||12.63 km2 (4.88 sq mi)|
|Population||1,069 (Civil Parish)|
|– density||85/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
The landscape of the area itself is one of the edge of a well-drained plain with the lowest slopes of the Kent Downs to the north-west. Pluckley is mostly agricultural in land use and centred 5 miles (8 km) west of Ashford.
Places of interest
Surrenden Manor was the former residence of Sir Edward Dering, 1st Baronet (1598–1644), who is buried locally, and it was here that the Dering Manuscript, the earliest extant manuscript text of any Shakespearean play, was discovered. The manuscript provides a single-play version of both Part 1 and Part 2 of Henry IV. The consensus of Shakespeare scholars is that the Dering MS represents a redaction prepared around 1613, perhaps for family or amateur theatrics.
Elvey Farm dates from 1496 and includes a collection of stables and outbuildings dating from the 16th to 18th centuries
Saint Peter's Hall
The village, approximately 5 miles (8 km) from the nearest junction of the M20 motorway, is served by Pluckley railway station, about 1.25 miles (2 km) to the south. It lies on the Greensand Way long-distance walking route and is close to the Stour Valley Walk.
Local folklore and legends
Pluckley had an entry in the 1989 Guinness Book of Records for being "the most haunted village in Britain", with 12 different ghosts reported; the category is no longer in use by Guinness, and a visiting Daily Telegraph journalist in 2008 cast doubt on the claims.
- 18th century highwayman Robert Du Bois, who according to local legend was run through with a sword while hiding in a hollow tree at Fright (formerly Frith) Corner, in the Screaming Wood, Pinnock, seen reenacting his death.
- The Gypsy or Watercress Woman on Pinnock Bridge, who according to local legend, either set herself on fire with her twin passions of pipe smoking and gin drinking or drowned in the stream where she gathered the watercress she sold, seen as a misty figure.
- 18th century farmer Edward Brett, who shot himself in the Elvey Farm dairy and whose last words, I will do it, are heard whispered around the farmstead.
- The Miller, who according to local legend haunts the ruins of the old windmill closed in 1930 and destroyed by fire in 1939, seen as a black silhouette.
- The Red Lady, who according to local legend was a member of the Dering family, seen, along with a small white dog, in the churchyard of St Nicholas’s Church.
- The White Lady, who according to local legend was buried inside 7 coffins and an oak sarcophagus, seen inside St Nicholas’s Church.
- The Lady of Rose Court, who according to local legend poisoned herself in despair over a love triangle.
- The Screaming Man who according to local legend either fell into clay pit and drowned or was suffocated by a collapsing clay wall at the village brickworks, heard screaming.
- The schoolmaster found hanging by children in Dicky Buss's Lane.
- A colonel who hanged himself in Park Wood.
- A phantom coach and horses, which according to local legend has been heard and seen around the village as recently as 1997.
- A poltergeist at the Black Horse Inn.
Appearances in the media
The villages official status as the most haunted village in Britain has drawn many TV and radio series there.
- An episode of the LWT television series Strange But True?, titled Pluckley – The most haunted village in England, was broadcast on 13 September 1996.
- An episode of the Living TV television series Most Haunted: Midsummer Murders, which investigated the murder of highwayman Robert Du Bois in the Screaming Woods, was broadcast on 10 July 2007.
- An episode of the Syfy television series Ghost Hunters International, titled Haunted Village, featuring The Black Horse Inn, Elvey Farm, and The Screaming Woods, was broadcast on 30 January 2008.
- An episode of the Channel 4 television variety show Sunday Night Project, featuring Justin Lee Collins, Alan Carr and guest host Will Young investigating a mill and camping overnight in the Screaming Woods, was broadcast on 20 July 2008.
- The KMFM radio Hallowe'en special Frightday Night, featuring The Black Horse Inn and The Screaming Woods, was broadcast on 31 October 2009.
- An episode of the BBC Radio 4 radio series Open County, which investigated the hauntings and their effects of village life, was broadcast on 4 November 2010.
Pluckley was also featured on an episode of BBC's Top Gear. Two of the presenters, James May and Richard Hammond, were filming a review of the Smart Forfour. The presenters spent 24 consecutive hours in the car, spending the night in the Screaming Woods.
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 10 May 2014
- "Discover Our History". pluckley.net. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
- "Pluckley: the most haunted village in England?". The Telegraph. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
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