Prestbury Ghosts

The Black Abbot Spectre

The cottage where the Black Abbot has been seen

There are several entities that seem to appear more frequently in Prestbury. One of these is said to be an Abbot, commonly known as The Black Abbot. He’s been spotted walking the aisle in St Mary’s church. He’s been seen walking the churchyard and disappears into the wall of Reform cottage that is on the outskirts of the churchyard. There are also reports of poltergeist activity in the cottage. It had been in the same family for many years, and they said they became used to the sounds of footsteps and knocking when they lived there.

When the cottage was sold to someone who wasn’t from the village and they started to renovate, the poltergeist activity became more aggressive. It swung a very heavy plant pot when the builders and owners were looking at the plans for the cottage. This plant pot was hanging up and started swinging violently, then it was tipped up and was smashed to the floor. Both occupants and builders felt as though they were always being watched, but when the plant pot incident happened, everyone ran downstairs as fast as they could!

It is rumoured that this cottage has a secret tunnel that links up to St Mary’s church. Also, the front garden of this cottage is said to have been the burial ground for the monks who came to the monastic outpost in Prestbury from their Priory of Llanthony. There are 3 stone cottages to the side of the garden of Reform Cottage and the one closest to the garden was said to have been the mortuary for the monks, where the bodies would be laid out, dressed in sackcloth and ashes whilst his community would say mass, surrounded with candles. Then the body would be washed, dressed in his monastic robes and his hands clasped as though in prayer. The body would spend the night before the funeral in church whilst the other monks took turns in singing psalms and chanting prayers so the deceased would enter heaven. So quite a lot of emotions and ritual took place in this area, perhaps that could be why this figure is seen the most

Haunted Prestbury Gloucestershire
Most haunted village of Prestbury

The view of St Mary's Church from The Plough Inn, Mill Street, Prestbury. where the Black Abbot has been seen

He’s also been spotted sitting on a tombstone in the churchyard by the then vicar. The vicar approached the figure, but the figure slowly vanished in front of the vicar’s eyes. The apparition has also been seen walking, in the early morning hours, past The Plough Inn on Mill Street.

Witnesses also attest that this figure glides across the road in the High Street, almost causing vehicles to crash. One witness was riding his motorbike through the village one night and had to swerve quite violently as the figure was standing in the middle of the road. This spectral figure has also been seen to walk in the direction of the Bishop’s Palace, now a moated area by the racecourse, which once stood a hunting lodge belonging to the then Bishop of Hereford. Some witnesses have said the figure looks as real as you and me when they see him walking.

It’s not clear as to why he’s called an Abbott, when this figure could easily have been a lowly monk. or there’s more than one of these dark ghostly figures that gets seen. Interestingly, back in Medieval times, the land Prestbury is on was divided in two; one part belonging to the Bishop of Hereford, who held very lavish banquets and the monks of Llanthony, who led a very simple and humble lives. It was known that the then Bishop of Hereford was rather resented for these lavish affairs by those who lived close by, including the monks.

Ghosts and hauntings of the Gloucestershire village of Prestbury

Prestbury High Street 2022

You can see the photo that was taken in 1990 in the churchyard of St Mary's that is said to be the spectre of the Black Abbot here