Grace Dieu Priory
The ruins of Grace Dieu Priory have a reputation of being haunted. The Priory was founded between 1235 and 1241 for Augustinian nuns by Rose de Verdon and was closed during the Dissolution in October 1538. According to the ‘A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2’ (1954), ‘The life of the nuns at Grace Dieu seems to have had some special features; they were forbidden ever to leave the precincts of the priory, while shortly before the Dissolution they described themselves as ‘White Nuns of St. Augustine’, and thought that there was no other house of their own Order in England. There is no evidence that Grace Dieu was ever connected with any of the separate congregations which lived under the Augustinian rule, and it seems probable that the peculiarities of Grace Dieu were merely especial customs of the house.’
The following description of the haunting is extracted from an article entitled ‘Leicestershire’s Most Haunted’ which was published on the BBC website on 31 October 2006. ‘Grace Dieu Priory near Thringstone is rumoured to be haunted by the famous ‘White Lady’ – a female figure with no facial features.
‘The White Lady’ has often been seen crossing the road junction from Belton to the bus shelter. In fact a bus driver once stopped to pick up a woman in white only for her to disappear when the bus doors opened!
A popular explanation goes that the founder of Grace Dieu Priory, Roesia de Verdun, takes the form of a ghost after her remains were disturbed at the beginning of the 19th Century.
It’s not just outside that ghostly happening occur: once a member of the district council was pushed over by an invisible force in the priory and refused to ever work there again!’