THE PRIORY INVESTIGATES…….

Borley Rectory and Church: Part One – The Facts

Borley a   Borley b

It was a bright sunny (if not windy) day in March 2016 that we arrived in the small village of Borley in Essex. Anyone with a keen interest in the paranormal or places of unusual events or happenings, cannot fail to have heard of the infamous happenings and hauntings that, over the years, have occured at Borly Rectory and Church. The Rectory was demolished many years ago but the church is still very much here.

For a bit of useful background and historical infomation, the following links are very useful and help to paint the overall picture:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borley_Rectory

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borley_Church

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borley

 

We wondered what we would find there; listening to other clips and snippets on the internet the signs were not good; the church had been well and truly locked to visitors for years, no one was ever around and lest of all welcoming, the small carpark was always chained across with no where else to park and the villagers activey discouraged visitors and researchers by going to the trouble of removing any sign posts that directed one to the village. So not a very good start then but never the less we remained optimistic and really looking forward to the day.

So imagine our surprise then, when as soon as we arrived at Borley Church, not only was the car park unchained allowing us to pull straight up to the church entrance, but there was also another car already parked there with a guy inside seemingly viewing the expansive country side through binoculars. We got out of the car, as did he and before we knew it and quite unexpectedly, freindly conversation had ensued along with introductions, who we were and our reason for being there; namely research into the Church and Rectory and the strange happenings documented to have occured there.

The next suprise happened almost immedietly when seemingly from out of nowhere two others appeared, also engaging straight away in conversation with us; one of whom was a lady who told us she had been taking a ‘tour’ around the church, yet i could not help wondering where the people on the tour actually were and there was ‘something’ unsettling about her that i could not quiet put my finger on; she seemed to be a bit ‘out of time’. Again all seemingly very interested in what we were doing there; not at all what we were expecting or had been led to believe about the village.

Introduction to Borley:

(apologies for poor sound quality)

Priest grave & burial of bones site:

(apologies for poor sound quality)

We then made our way around the back of the church where there appeared to be a much older area; less manicured and with much older gravestones but with stunning views across the rolling Essex countryside with light rays shinning on where ‘the bones’ are buried…

Borley c       Borley d

We then made our way along the back of the church to the front again but on coming around the side to what was, only a few minutes ago an empty space, a gardener complete with wheelbarrow plus an array of various gardening tools and equipment was now diligently going about his daily buisness. Pleasantries were of course exchanged, yet curiously while we introduced ourselves, he in fact did not, but he did tell us a little more about the church and its history and its current application for lottery funding in respect of its leaking roof yet also making a big point of telling us that the Old Rectory would have been situated way, way down the road where modern bungelows had now been built upon. The church doors that only minutes before had been tightly locked shut and chained, were now wide open and welcoming and thus on our inquiring he bid us to go inside; telling us that the church is often open to visitors on a weekend, yet this was not a weekend, so very contary to what we had been led to believe and certainly not what we were expecting

.

Borley Church a      Borley Church b

An overall view of the inside of the church showing in detail the tomb and its placement.

 

Borley Church c      Borley Church d

The window directly opposite the tomb and a view of the altar.

Once inside the small church one can see that it is certainly very stunning with some beautiful stained glass windows of amazing craftmanship. But one can not help noticing the ‘family’ tomb, rising from floor to ceiling, towards the left hand side of the altar and how elaborate, well preserved and detailed it is, being placed directly opposite one of the stained glass windows. I myself felt nothing untoward inside the church; in fact i would say the very opposite, it felt very natural, almost as if we were ‘meant’ to be there and were placed inside of a (to us) protected enviroment.

At the very back of the church, outside the actual boundaries is a piece of ground very ‘different’ from the surounding area with a type of flora growing there which has been left in a natural state and unattended. This is in actual fact the site of the very original Borley Rectory which lasted up until 1161 yet had been added to and modified since 934 CE, but was subsequently demolished, to make way (i geuss) for the now infamous rectory of the ‘hauntings and happenings’.

So where is the real rectory?

Why were we given a red herring in respect of it?

Who was the mystery gardener, ‘tour guide’ and companions?

Why were the church doors open and welcoming?

Why does all this connect to one of our party?

All will be revealed and more in ‘Faces from the Past’ (part two of our Borley investigation)

To be continued – keep tuning in….

March 2016

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