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Green Lady of Swanbourne


The apparition of a Green Lady was said to traditionally haunt the village of Swanbourne. The woman reputedly walked soundlessly up the main street toward the Grade II listed, 13th Century, Church of St Swithin, head bowed, hands clasped and wearing a green dress. This was said to be the ghost Elizabeth Adams who lived in Swanbourne during the 17th century.

Elizabeth was married to Thomas Adams and they had four children together. In 1626 Thomas was waylaid on the road and killed during a robbery. He was then buried at the Church St Swithin, where Elizabeth would apparently visit his grave each evening.

Elizabeth raised her children in Swanbourne and as they grew and moved on she is said to have lost the will to live after never fully recovering from her husband’s unlawful killing. Eventually she just passed away quietly.

Shortly following her death the Green Lady is said to have started haunting the village and those who encountered her identified the ghost as being the widowed Elizabeth Adams.

On the north side of the chancel in St Swithin’s is a brass memorial to Thomas and Elizabeth, depicting four figures, a man, a woman, two boys and two girls. It also bears a shield of the arms of the Butchers' Company, and is inscribed with the following dedication to Thomas:

'Who in prime of youth by bloudy theves was slain,
In Liscombe ground his bloud ye grass did staine.'


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