The Strange Case of the House that Slips Through Time

house time slip

There is an area between Bradfield St George and Rougham Green in Suffolk, England, that brings about a strange phenomenon that has been witnessed by many through the last 160 years. What people have witnessed is seeing a beautiful red bricked Georgian style house but when they try to find it again, nothing is found there. The first time it was documented was in 1860.

Robert Palfry was enjoying a evening stroll on a June evening in the fields of Rougham Green, when he felt a chill in the air. As he was sensing the chill, this very large house had appeared, along with its garden that was in full bloom. It was then to just disappear.

It was 52 years later (around 1910) when Robert Palfry's great grandson James Cobbold was to also experience the same house appearing. He was riding his pony trap with his friend, George Waylett, who was the local butcher. Again, the temperature was to drop, and the pony reared up in fear and both men fell from the trap. Both men heard a whooshing noise as though the air was being moved by force. It was then that they both saw the massive Georgian style house, complete with gardens, appear in what had been an empty field. James Cobbold was too shocked to speak and just looked at his friend in utter bewilderment. A mist came over the house and gardens and as it cleared, the house had just vanished!

His friend reacted by saying, “That's the 3rd time I've seen that”, much to James Cobbold's surprise. Cobbold went on to tell a magazine in 1975 of his experience and had said he had heard about 2 more experiences after his.

It was in 1926 that another 2 people were to witness this house appearing. This time it was a 23 year old teacher Miss Ruth Wynne and her 10 year old pupil, who were out walking in the parish where this house has been seen. They followed a path, which led them to a boundary wall to what seemed to be a large estate. The wall was yellow and green in colour and there were huge iron gates, which would have opened onto a long driveway with the large house at the top of the drive. Later, when they returned back home, they asked about the estate with the brick walls and iron gates, only to be told there was no such place in that area. Being inquisitive, they returned to the area to investigate further but there was absolutely nothing there, just overgrown greenery, complete with large bramble bushes. They did find some old ponds in the area where the house had been seen but they were of an age and had been left to nature. Miss Wynne wrote about this experience in 1934 and was still perplexed by what she and her pupil had experienced that fateful October day.

So, it had been seen in a different area but within the local parish boundaries.The next time this house was seen was in the1940's when salesman, Edward Bentley, was delivering clothing catalogues by car to the people in that rural area, in the hope that they would buy some of the clothing so that commission from any sales could be made. He was travelling with 2 other salesmen, and it was with them, that they saw this large Georgian style house. Thinking that they could get the owners to make purchases from the clothing catalogues, they turned the car round to approach the house but when that manoeuvre was made, there was no house to be seen!

Going forward to the 1970's, the house was experienced again. This time, it was 14 year old Sandra Hardwick. She was cycling home after meeting a friend on a summers evening. It was starting to grow dark and she was nearly home, when she saw 2 bungalows in front of her but then, just to the right of them, she saw a very large house that was lit up as though the summer midday sun was out. She said that the atmosphere felt very cold and there was just silence.

During the 1980's, a daughter of the rector who lived in Rougham Green rectory, ran into the local pub to tell the publicans and patrons that she had seen this very large Georgian house. It had spooked her so much that she was in tears. Another interesting note to add, is that the teacher, Miss Ruth Wynne, who saw the disappearing house in the 1920's, had also been living in the rectory at the time when she had her experience.

The most recent account I am aware of happened in 2007. This time it was Sidney and Jean Batram, who drove past this Georgian house. They thought the house was very beautiful and looked forward to seeing it again when driving back past it. Of course, it was no longer there on their drive back and the couple thought this very odd. It wasn't till years later when Jean Batram borrowed a book about the ghosts of Suffolk by Betty Putticks, she read about the appearing and disappearing house that she recalled the experience she and her husband had had with seeing this house.

Despite the area of where the house has been seen (then unseen), it doesn't appear in the exact same spot but the description of this Georgian house is always the same. There is evidence that a large house had been built on or near to where some sightings have happened, but this hasn't been verified. The building and the area it was once in, could've been a large house called Kings Hall. This building was shown on 18th century maps but there are no records of a Georgian style house being built in this area. That is rather strange, as it would've been built by someone who had many riches and there would have been records to show this but there are none.

Apparently, there have been fragments found of a yellow and green wall, but further investigations need to be made. So just what have these people all experienced? It spans over nearly 2 centuries, looking the same but in slightly different areas but in the same small parish area?

What is interesting is that all witnesses have given the same or very similar descriptions. If this is a time slip, it has the capacity to be seen within a small area. Is this to do with geographical stress in this location or is it some sort of mirage?

Further investigations need to be undertaken to try and determine if this house ever existed, even if it only got as far as someone designing such a house. This is an interesting case and I look forward to hearing more about it once more research has been completed. I wonder if anyone will be able to walk up the drive and knock on the front door? Now, that is something I'd love to hear about.

You can read more about this strange case by CJ Romer,  Eric Quigley and Nicola Talbot, who wrote Spectral Suffolk, in which this case appeared.