The Ghostly Monk
The Blacklands - The name alone conjures up thoughts of foul deeds afoot! Prior to Quarr Abbey holding the lands of Arreton Manor, which in turn owned Staplehurst Grange, many issues beheld the area, and in the 13th Century the Abbott of Quarr complained actively that “certain persons had carried away goods”. This led to a ditch being built as a defence between the lands of Briddlesford under control of the Abbey and that of Staplehurst. Piracy and theft were common throughout the island and the Abbey did its best to protect its property.
Then in the 16th century the Grange was purchased by Quarr Abbey as a parcel of the larger Arreton Manor. The expansion of Quarr by buying up these minor manors was a very important part of the Abbey’s development, and the lands were worked daily by both surfs and monks.
The Ghost Workers of Quarr
The Lavender Farm ghosts are said to originate from this time, and are active at dusk when shadowy features can clearly be seen. Looking at the image below there appears to be one of these shadowy forms, a monk slumped next to the steps.
Today this is the office, but in ancient times it was the grain store and built as one unit. Apparently they used to load sacks of grain from the mill cart using a grain hook suspended from a rope and pulley affair. It is said that one day a monk from the Abbey who was doubting his faith while loading the heavy sacks of grain let the hook slip off a sack under tension, which then swung wildly and killed him instantly.
Legend has it that sometimes at dusk you can hear the muffled sound of the old monk doubting his spiritual beliefs, and his ghostly form can be seen collapsed next to the step. Or so the story goes.