Nocton Hall was built during the reign of Henry VIII on the grounds of a priory which was dissolved during the dissolution of the monasteries. It burned down and was rebuilt in 1841 by Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon, one-time Prime Minister. It was bought by the MOD in 1940 to serve as an RAF hospital, a role it fulfilled until 1984, when it was leased to the US Air Force to serve as a hospital for their British-based personnel. In 1994 the hospital closed and it has lain empty and abandoned since.
During Nocton Hall’s time as a hospital, the ghost of a sobbing young woman was rumoured to have been seen regularly walking down corridors during the hall’s time as a hospital. This ghost was also particularly associated with one of the bedrooms. People sleeping in that room were often woken at exactly 4:30 in the morning to find a woman at the foot of their bed crying incoherently about a ‘devilish man’. It is said that this spirit is that of a young servant girl who was seduced by the owner’s son and then murdered when it was discovered she had fallen pregnant.
Another ghost known as the ‘grey lady’ has been seen roaming the grounds of the old hall, although there is less information available about who she could be.
The spirits of many former patients are also said to be present at Nocton Hall.
By P A McHugh