A Spooky Guide to W4 for Halloween
Find out about 'Chiswick - Ghosts and Bodies' with Hounslow Heritage Walks
The last in this autumn’s series of Hounslow Heritage walks has an appropriate theme for Halloween. On Sunday 29 October there will be a chance to find out about "Chiswick - Ghosts and Bodies."
The walk takes in sites from Chiswick’s gruesome past including a possible link with the Jack the Ripper mystery. The body of Montague Druitt was pulled out of the river by Chiswick on New Year’s Eve 1888 and he was found to have large rocks in his pockets. However, many ripperologists believe that the inquest verdict of suicide was a cover up. It is claimed that Druitt’s family were aware that he had killed and mutilated several prostitutes and that his involvement was deliberately hidden because he frequented all-male brothels with Prince Albert, the heir to the throne.
The tour will also pay a visit to the burial ground by St Nicholas’ Church and hear some of the stories behind the graves including the macabre tale of Ugo Fosclo. His tomb in Chiswick lies empty after Garibaldi took the body from there in 1871 to have him reburied in Florence as a national hero. During the rebuilding of the Church in the 1880s, Henry Smith of of Fuller Smith and Turner, found a crypt containing the bodies of two women along with a small coffin. It has been claimed that the women were Cromwell’s daughters and that they walk the graveyard to this day and that the small coffin contained the beheaded body of Oliver Cromwell himself.
Close to Regency Quays a body of a Saxon male was found who came to be known as Oswin. As no burial artefacts were found by his body it is thought possible that he died of disease and was simply abandoned at the spot.
The tour may also visit Boston House near the George and Devonshire pub the site of a notorious 18th century society killing. When Lord Boston found out about his wife’s affair with Lord Fairfax he brutally murdered her and took her body down through a sewer to dump it in the river. However, the tide brought it back and he reburied it near the house. Over two hundred years later workers for the Cherry Blossom Polish company were living in the house and reported seeing a terrified woman outside in Chiswick Square and a pale face appearing in the windows.
Percy the ghost is also said to haunt the Old Burlington, formerly the Burlington Arms pub, on Church Street. The building dates back to the fifteenth century and was an inn at the time of Elizabeth I. Percy has been seen floating along corridors in a wide brimmed hat and billowing cloak. He is thought to haunt the building along with a young girl.
There’s no need to book, just turn up and pay the £3 cost to the Guide. Children go free. Meet at 2:30pm at the steps to St. Nicholas Church at the junction of Church Street and Chiswick Mall. The full programme of walks across the borough is at www.hounslow-heritage.org.uk
October 19, 2017