My name is Thomas Culpeper, Lord of Arreton Manor. I am a Futurian. I came into the body of John Gregory Presco when he died February 11, 1967. John was just twenty years old. I came from the past into the future to warn the people of the world. I gave my warning, but, it did not reach enough people. My mission, is a failure. Once more, our faithful watchdog look skyward for our return.
Soon, I will be going home to my beloved Arreton, where she waits? We are the Ghosts of Arreton. We leave a part of ourselves in the Maze of Arreton in order to ground ourselves when we travel. We are not immortals. We are more than that. This is our story.
Lord Thomas Culpeper a.k.a. John Presco
Arreton Manor: Lord Culpeper’s home with a thousand years of history
By Christine Webb
14 Oct 1998
© The Times of London
News International, 1F3, Page 2
From Alfred the Great to Eisenhower, houses with a past are coming on to the market, says Christine Webb
Whoever snaps up Arreton Manor on the Isle of Wight will be buying a piece of history. The mellow stone house three miles from Newport belonged to Alfred the Great; a copy of the 885 will, in which he left it to his younger son, Etherward, can be seen in the Long Room as the Grade II* listed house is open to the public.
In 1086, Arreton Manor was mentioned in the Domesday Book, that noted, “King Edward held it,” adding, “the whole Manor in King Edward’s time worth ten pounds, and afterwards and now eight pounds,” which goes to show that property slumps are not new.
The manor was endowed to the Convent of Quarr in 1156, and was farmed by the Abbot’s steward, but was snatched back by Henry VIII around 1536 during his dissolution of the monasteries. The house was largely rebuilt between 1595 and 1612, although some 14th-century features were kept. The hall is built partly on the site of the old Great Hall, and retains a monastic screen erected in 1396.
Charles I visited the manor several times – perhaps it was for his sake that a secret room was hidden behind a closet in the West Bedroom, which could be entered through the side of a chimney. The King granted the manor to trustees to help to repay his debts to the City of London, and it was bought by two London merchants.
It was sold on twice, the second time to Lord Culpeper [Thomas, Second Lord], Governor of the Isle of Wight, who left it to his daughter, Lady Katherine, who married Lord Fairfax, known as “The coloniser of Virginia”. It stayed in that family for 230 years.
It is a thrill to think how many crowned monarchs passed through the house’s entrance door, which is almost certainly original. The fireplace in the dining parlour has a fireback bearing the Royal coat of arms, brought from one of James I’s palaces in 1605. Queen Mary often visited, as did Queen Victoria, who planted a conifer on the south lawn.
Now the distinguished manor is about to be launched on the market by Knight Frank’s Winchester office at Pounds 550,000. It would make a superb private country home, but there is also planning permission to convert a former stable block into 15 letting bedrooms…
(Article continued with a discussion of other houses not related to the Culpeppers.)
1831 Topographical Dictionary:
ARRETON, a parish in the liberty of EAST MEDINA, ISLE of WIGHT division of the county of SOUTHAMPTON, 3 miles (S.E.) from Newport, containing 1757 inhabitants. The church is dedicated to St. George.
Arreton Manor House lies under the south slope of the chalk down. The manor is close to the church. To the east of the house is a 16th–17th century dovecote with a four-centred arched opening and stone mullioned windows, and to the south stands a 17th-century barn of noble proportions, with a chestnut roof worthy of notice.
Many years later a guest at the Manor who had no idea of these sightings noticed a small room leading from a landing, opposite was another larger room. The visitor had an uncomfortable feeling and she turned pale and became disorientated so much that she could no longer stay. She said to the House keeper that a sense of foreboding had overwhelmed her and also had the feeling of being watched.
James and Thomas who were the two older brothers of Mrs Barnaby Leigh once fought a duel to determine which one of them would inherit the property. One of the brothers was killed and three days later the other brother died from wounds he had received. The title to Arreton Manor did lie with Barnaby Leigh during the reign of Elizabeth 1st. It is also recorded that when he lay on his death bed his son John smothered him with a pillow so as to gain the inheritance. But on looking up after doing this dastardly deed, John, noticed Annabel, his younger sister standing there watching, and in his panic he dragged her upstairs and threw her from the highest window. It is said that there is an area in the room that is permanently cold and the ghost of little Annabel is often seen and heard in the grounds of the manor. It is said that her voice can still be heard calling out “Mamma, Mamma”.
The house is often open to the public and on occasions there have been reports of a sighting and one particular time a little girl told her mother she had been trying to make friends with a girl in blue but she disappeared through a brick wall.
During more recent times people working in the house have reported ghostly noises comming from empty rooms. Guests have reported seeing monks in the house and in the Manor grounds .Lights have also been seen in windows at night when the house has been empty.
Count Slade de Pomeroy was once the owner of the manor and it is recorded that he often woke to the sound of tapping on the door to his bedroom. He is reported to have said that he had ignored it as if he opened the door there would be nothing there.
But one time he did in fact open the door and was shoved back by unseen hands, his housekeeper who was there at the time, said that she had seen two monks enter the room and one of them had pushed him from the doorway, they then disappeared.