London History

.’. Christ Church Greyfriars .’.

The first church on this site was built for Franciscan Friars (Grey Friars) in the 13th Century.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the church was renamed Christ Church.
Destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, the Church was rebuilt by Christopher Wren. Unfortunately, it was then left in ruins by bombing in World War II. Today, only the steeple remains. There is a rose garden among the ruins.
All seems tranquil and peaceful – but beware, as many restless ghosts are said to frequent this churchyard.
The most infamous ghosts to have been seen haunting this area, are said to be those of two beautiful murderesses, who are buried here at Greyfriars.
The first of these was Queen Isabella (know as the “She Wolf of France”), who had her husband, King Edward II, murdered: ” A kind of horn or funnel…’was’…thrust into his fundament, through which a red hot spit was run up his bowels”.
Isabella’s son, King Edward III, imprisoned her and kept her in solitary confinement until her death in 1384.
She is buried with the heart of her husband (according to her own instructions) placed on her breast. Her ghost has been seen in the churchyard, holding the beating heart.
The other ghost is said to be of Lady Alice Hungerford, who was executed in 1523, for murdering her husband. Reports, from Victorian times, tell how the two ghosts came face to face in the graveyard. Apparently jealous of each other, the ghosts then had a fierce fisht, which terrified witnesses.
Another ghost to haunt Greyfriars, is said to be that Elizabeth Barton. The ‘Nun (or Holy Maid) of Kent’, as she was know, was a domestic servant who, as a teenager, began to fall in trances during which she would have prophetic visions.
Althought she become famous for her holiness, she was executed in 1534, after she protested against King Henry VIII’s proposed divorce of his wife, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn.



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