Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



For more regular updates, visit Tom's Britain, a new website about things to do in Britain.


26 June 2009

Search for the headless lady of St James' Park

This story has long caught your author's imagination, but he must admit to having been a little patchy on the details. Thank god, therefore, for Richard Jones' London Walking Tours website, which fills in the background.

A headless lady has often been sighted in St James' Park, most notably in January 1804, when the Times reported that two Coldstream Guards were so frightened by her that they were confined to hospital, and also in 1972, when a motorist collided with a lamppost when he swerved to avoid a woman in a red dress who suddenly appeared before him.

Your author remains sceptical, but on both occasions the lady matched the same description and it is said that the Coldstream Guards, based at the nearby Birdcage Walk barracks, were surprised the lady had no head.

It is thought the ghost is that of a the wife of a sergeant who beheaded her in the 1780s, and then buried it in a secret location before throwing her body into the lake. Legend has it that when the lake was later dredged the body was brought to the surface but the head was nowhere to be found.

^Picture combination from Flickr courtesy of Zemlinki! and Gaspa^

No comments:

Post a Comment