Beaulieu Palace House
The Beaulieu Palace House (//) is a 13th-century house located in Beaulieu, Hampshire. Originally part of Beaulieu Abbey, the estate was bought by Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton in 1538, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries and is still owned and occupied by the earl's descendants, the Barons Montagu of Beaulieu.
Beaulieu Palace House was originally built in the 13th century as the gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the estate was purchased by Sir Thomas Wriothesley, later 1st Earl of Southampton, in 1538. The house passed through marriage into the Montagu family and is still owned by the 1st earl's descendant, Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu.
The house was extended in the 16th century, and again in the 19th century, and is today a fine example of a Gothic country house. The house overlooks Beaulieu River and is surrounded by lawns and walkways. The inside of the house has been kept in a Victorian style.
Although still home to the current Lord and Lady Montagu, parts of the house and gardens are open daily to the public. It is a member of the Treasure Houses of England consortium.
The Palace House is open to the public as part of the visitor attraction known as "Beaulieu", which includes:
- Beaulieu Abbey
- National Motor Museum
- Beaulieu Palace House
- World of Top Gear
- Secret Army Exhibition - an exhibit about the Special Operations Executive training at Beaulieu during World War II
- A monorail
Local folklore and legend
Beaulieu, according to the official website, is one of the most haunted places in Britain, with reported sightings going back over a hundred years, and possibly as far as the mid-16th century. Numerous paranormal investigators have conducted research at the abbey, including Arthur Conan Doyle, who it is claimed made contact with a ghost during a séance at Palace House.
A lady in blue or gray, reportedly sighted walking through walls and making a lot of noise in the private apartments, is believed to be the ghost of Countess of Beaulieu, Lady Isabella, who died in 1786. The smell of incense, which allegedly signals tragedy for the people of the abbey or the village, has also been reported by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu among others in a room of the Palace House used as a chapel in the Middle Ages.
- "Beaulieu". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "Palace House and Gardens". Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd. n.d. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
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- Yandell, Chris (2013-10-31). "Hannah Broughton claims she has photographed Beaulieu's ghostly Lady in Blue". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
- Scanlan, David (2013). Paranormal Hampshire. Amberley Publishing.