DATE – 12/11/2019
LOCATION – COLWICK OLD CHURCH
There aren’t many places that I find myself visiting again and again, in fact, there are so few that I can probably count them all on one hand. You all know how much I love Rock Cemetery; another would be the Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre. They are locations that I just feel drawn to, I don’t know why and, in all honesty, I don’t think I need to know why. One thing I’ve learnt throughout my paranormal journey is that you will experience certain emotions that you will never feel again, so maybe instead of searching for answers we should just cherish and live that particular moment to the fullest. Anyway, I’ve gone off on one – AGAIN!
One such location that falls into the category above is Colwick Old Church, a place I’ve explored and investigated many times. There are numerous reasons as to why I have been here on so many occasions, such as, it’s close to where I live, it’s free, but more importantly, it’s just beautiful. At the time of the Domesday survey of 1086, there was mention of a church and hall in the village of Colwick, known back then as ‘Over Colwick’. What lies today isn’t thought to be that exact church, but instead, the remains of the 16th Century building that Sir John Byron had commissioned. He had built the church in the troubled period following the dissolution of the monasteries, with the oldest part of it still standing to this day. There were other parts added/rebuilt throughout the 17th century which give the ruins their distinctive appearance they still showcase. As you can see, there’s nearly 700 years of history that stand on this site, which might explain its energy and pull.
The first ever visit I had to this site was one I’ll never forget. Like many locations, I’ll have a quick look on Google to plan my visit. It would normally consist of checking the route before delving into a bit of history regarding the said location. I could see how much the Church had in connection to many other historic sites throughout Nottinghamshire, such as prominent family names linking it to both Newstead Abbey and Annesley Hall. This wet my appetite so to speak, seeing the crossovers and pieces of the puzzle coming together that would eventually lead me on my crazy paranormal adventures.
Making my way down there consisted of leaving a really busy island where Nottingham Racecourse resides. You slowly drive down a long winding tree lined road that lies parallel to the River Trent. The road straightens before the tower of the church presents itself through the greenery in the distance. On pulling up, you can see its proximity to Colwick Hall, a well-known haunted location in its own right. I sat there for a few minutes looking towards the main entrance. My first impression was that, well, it looked a lot smaller than I had imagined… Oi… I don’t mean that now get your dirty minds back on the article!
I eventually left my car and made the short walk from the side of the road and entered the ruin grounds. It was then that I first experienced ‘that feeling’. When I talk about sensing and feeling things, please don’t mistake me for referring to mediumship or any psychic-type abilities. Unfortunately, that’s just not me, instead, I just feel a natural draw to locations as I’ve tried to explain before. As you walk your way around the ruins you can veer to the right where the graveyard opens up. What you’ll notice straight away is that all but 4/5 headstones are lined along the boundary wall. I’ve never seen this before, and after further research I learnt that it was carried out by the local council for safety reasons. The re-positioning of them was purely to stop members of the public from tripping over them and causing injury. That’s all fair enough and logical, but could their actions have intensified any activity that was already occurring on the site?
After photographing the location and being my usual inquisitive self, I made my exit with just the images on my camera as memories. It’s pretty much the same way that I leave all of the locations I visit, with the rush back being fuelled by my desire to look at the images I’ve taken, I know, it’s a little sad but I just love it! After browsing through what I’d taken, and warming myself with a cup of coffee, I seemed to feel a little frustrated. I felt like I’d missed something. I know I said the site is pretty small, but I had this burning niggle that I just couldn’t put my finger on, then, a day later, it hit me. I couldn’t believe I’d missed the connection, one of the pieces of the puzzle that I’d spoken about earlier, that piece was known by the name of William Saville.
I first came across the story of Mr Saville thanks to a visit to the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham City Centre. Once known as the most haunted building in the UK, I had seen a stone in the old exercise yard bearing the initials ‘WS’. After a short talk with a guide and many questions later, I came to the realisation that I’d stumbled across the story of one of Nottingham’s most infamous criminals whose actions had huge implications on the British judiciary system.
I won’t go into too much detail as I’ll revisit this in a future article, but William Saville was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of his wife and three children. He had met them in a wooded area before cutting their throats. It’s an awful story, a sickening one, a despicable human being as you’d all agree. Yet, what I failed to remember on that first visit was where this wooded area was that his unforgivable actions took place, it was of course, Colwick Woods. Part of Colwick Woods still runs just the other side of the boundary wall to the church, so the proximity of the murders to where I was that day would have been extremely close. I had been stood in a location that had a profound impact on me, which I put down to the huge amounts of history that had played out there throughout hundreds of years. And yes, I’m sure that was part of why I felt like I did and still do, but I believe that there is something else to this story that hasn’t yet played out. Something that I can’t put my finger on, something that I can’t explain, and maybe if I take my own advice, something that I shouldn’t keep trying to find the answer to.
James - Haunted Insight
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