The Highclere Grampus

The Highclere Grampus

The Highclere Grampus surely has to rate as the strangest of all the Hampshire folktales?

Did a Grampus live in the Yew tree?
Did a Grampus live in the Yew tree?

This is an extremely peculiar story attached to Highclere, whose name has become synonymous with the fictional ‘Downton Abbey’ TV series written by Julian Fellowes but this story is in another realm of fiction altogether.

The folktale involves a creature called a Grampus, which is a historical name for the Orca meaning big fish. Highclere appears to have had a Grampus, a big fish living in a yew tree in the church yard of the Highclere Estate Chapel.

Highclere estate chapel
Highclere estate chapel

This creature apparently terrified the local population by emitting wheezing grunting noises and chasing anyone who got too close. All rather difficult one would think for a big fish who lived in a tree.

The beast was eventually exorcised by a local clergyman who banished the animal to the Red Sea for a thousand years. Hopefully the thousand years are not up anytime soon or it will have to appear as an interesting adjunct in the next series of Downton and what would the Dowager Countess of Grantham say about that?

Grampus

WWI Memorial Exbury

WWI Memorial Exbury

The WWI memorial at Exbury Hampshire is a poignant memorial to the Forster brothers who gave their lives in WWI.

John Pounds Altruist and Teacher

John Pounds Altruist and Teacher

John Pounds shoe maker, teacher and altruist lived and worked in Old Portsmouth in the early C19th and the inspiration for the ragged school movement.

Quebec House Old Portsmouth

Quebec House Old Portsmouth

Quebec House in Old Portsmouth Hampshire, is an old bathing house built in 1754 and rich with history.

A Georgian Hampshire Scandal

A Georgian Hampshire Scandal

The Georgian scandal of Elizabeth Chudleigh was played out in no small part in the beautiful Lainston House Hampshire, now a hotel . Within the bounds of this house near Winchester a marriage took place that would place one of the party in Westminster Hall charged with bigamy.

Great Families at Stratfield Saye

Great Families at Stratfield Saye

The history of Stratfield Saye in Hampshire is intricately woven into the lives of several great families going back as far as the C12th.