Written by Marie Kreft
When Sir Robert Corbet died of the plague in 1583, his brother Sir Vincent took on the building of Moreton Corbet Castle. England was politically unsettled and Puritans were being persecuted for their perceived threat to the Church of England. While Sir Vincent was not himself a Puritan, he gave sanctuary to a neighbour who was: a man named Paul Holmyard. Unfortunately, as Holmyard’s views grew more radical, Sir Vincent felt he could no longer offer protection to the man and cast him out.
Holmyard wandered in the woods for a while, surviving, it’s said, by eating whatever he could find. But when it all became too desperate he made his way back to Moreton Corbet where he confronted Sir Vincent, cursed the family and declared that none of them, or their descendants, would ever inhabit the house.
You could say that the curse was fulfilled, because Sir Vincent and his son Andrew were too frightened to live there. Their grand design fell into decay before it was even finished. To this day, Paul Holmyard’s ghost is said to stalk the ruined walls.