Castle House, Buckingham
The prestigious Grade I listed Castle House can be found on West Street and dates back to the 15th century. There would have been many notable visitors to Castle House, including King Charles I who held a Council of War here. There is a story relating to a haunting associated with the building which involves another famous visitor, Catherine of Aragon (Born 16 December 1485 – Died 7 January 1536), Queen of England, and her clergyman, Father Thomas.
Catherine is said to have visited Castle House during the time when King Henry was looking for a divorce so that he could marry Anne Boleyn (after 1525)*. Father Thomas was part of the Queen’s household and administered mass for her. It is thought that his other duties included passing messages between the Queen and her relatives in main land Europe. According to tradition, Father Thomas vanished one day, never to been seen alive again and it is speculated that his body was found at Castle House, possibly implying that he died there during the Queen’s visit.
According to Haunted Places of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire by Rupert Matthews, during renovations at Castle House in 1908, ‘A small chamber was found hidden beneath the floors of the upper stories, above the Great Parlour. Inside this tiny room was found the skeleton of a man accompanied by the crucifix, rosary and other belongings of a Tudor priest.’
Matthews goes on to say ‘Ever since the body was found the dark robed figure of a priest has been seen hurrying up the stairs and along the corridor towards the hidden chamber. He is seen most often in late afternoon or early evening.’
*One source placed Catherine’s visit to Castle House as early as 1514 which was a time when she had good relations with King Henry.