how not to get your rates lowered

Woodfield House in Aspley Guise is said to be haunted.


In 1927 this part of Bedfordshire was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and property was inspected to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer described it as standing in just over half an acre, he also noted it had been empty for some time.

By the late 1940s the owner was Blayney Key, who lived at Eel Pie Island, Twickenham. In 1947 he appealed against the value put on the property in 1927. This was because the property could not, in fact, be let, since it was haunted.

Rolling Stones at Eel Pie Island

In the early 18th century Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman, Key asserted, was wont to frequent Aspley Woods as a hide-out and the hooves of his horse still echoed down Weathercock Lane on dark nights when a low mist was in the air. Turpin knew the family living at Woodfield, most particularly the daughter of the house. She had a lover and the father, outraged at the character of the youth shut them both up in a cupboard, causing their death. This gave Dick Turpin a cause to blackmail the man to give him assistance and a place to stay.

read about Dick Turpin the boxer here

The ghost of this unfortunate girl, Key claimed, still haunted Woodfield, making it a thoroughly undesirable place to live. The claim for a revaluation went to a hearing at which a local historian was able to contradict Key’s tale by stating that the house had been built in the early 1820s, whereas Dick Turpin was hanged at York in 1739. A former maid claimed to have seen arms coming through the wall whilst trying to sleep one night, but rather undermined her own evidence by stating, in answer to a question, that she had eaten cheese sandwiches for supper. Blayney Key’s case collapsed.

The model above is wearing a cheese sandwich on her head. You can see even wackier fashions by clicking this link. Don’t miss the golden lips hat, the accordion pants or the spaghetti hat…..

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43 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So cheese sandwiches make you see ghosts? I must eat some, they sound better than magic mushrooms. The model looks like a cross between Zorro and a raccoon.

    • I recommend English Farmhouse Cheddar. Meaty and salty with a faint sulphur note

  2. Eel Pie Island! The cause of many of my teenage hangovers…

    More importantly, is there a website that helps you choose a cheese to create the type of dreams you want? I thought I had cracked it with a fine Edelpilzkase, designed to produce a dream about muffing an equally fine au naturel rheinmadchen. Alas, I just woke up to find the cat lying on my face.

    • Haha… that sounds worse than a hangover

  3. I’m a little more ‘sensitive’ to that kind of thing. Being over here is really weird on me because these houses are 3 to 6 hundred years old and have ‘witnessed’ dozens (at least) of deaths. They do feel much heavier, thicker somehow. I’ve never witnessed a haunting but some places honestly give me a bad vibe to the point of a nauseas feeling.

    • Well, don’t eat any more cheese than you have to Scott

  4. There are so many metaphors (and cruel jokes) in that fashions link…I don’t need cheese tonight! (I’ve had a better offer.;-) )

    • Good for you Dinah!!

  5. The Halloween party I’m going to on Saturday night is in an allegedly haunted house. I don’t think I’ll be wandering upstairs to the loo on my own!

    • Oh go on Mitzi… I dare you

  6. The element of surprise this time was that the post was free of frightfulness. How cunning you are – I read the whole thing through my fingers, and I needn’t have worried at all.

  7. are you the “Cheese Whisperer”? you seem to know a lot about that. is there a cheese that can get me frisky more often each night?

    • Strangely enough, last night I caught an episode of American Dad which featured a horse whisperer… that show is hilarious and now I’m wondering why I’ve never watched it before. Oh….did that answer your question?

  8. i kinda like the fashion show. as ridiculous as some of the crap that is put forward as serious fashion. but i gotta say, that is the biggest “hair lip” i’ve ever seen…

    • Did you like the accordion pants?

  9. You would think a cheese sandwich on a runway would just be a farce but I think that is what started the Wisconsin Cheese Head craze.

    • The Wisconsin WHAT?

      • Head Cheese. Think:”depression food.”
        First time I heard it mentioned I was drinking a very nice red and I spilled it – all down a cream linen shirt.

  10. Oh my, the folly of the cheese sandwich. I’d forgotten what I single slice of havarti does to one’s senses. But seriously, where I live we do have to disclose whether or not a property is haunted. Same everywhere?

    • I don’t know Tammy. If I had the money I’d buy a haunted house for the built in company.

  11. At least the woman dressed in rope comes prepared for a kinky night of fun once you get her home.

    • Trust you to find a positive spin

  12. They didn’t have Lady Gaga’s meat dress. . .

    • It’s been reposted so often…. I was trying to find something a bit different

  13. Speaking of modeling, myra, I have something just for you. Check your email or just stop over.

    • oooohhhh…. corsets!

  14. We have the poll tax these days, which has put paid to a lot of haunted houses as each phantasm has to pay the charge at full rate (they don’t qualify for benefit relief on the tax). It’s Mary Queen of Scots I feel sorry for. She haunts so many houses and she’s required to pay Second Home Tax Rate on all but the first.

    • How much does Lady Jane Grey have to shell out?

      • She’s relatively lucky: a cell in the Tower of London counts as a single-occupancy flat in band D. At London prices it’s about the same as a new Maserati.

  15. While sleeping with a strumpet might cause you to be murdered, eating a cheese sandwich will only result in some bad dreams. Okay, duly noted. Thanks.

    I, too, was disappointed not to see Lady GaGa’s meat dress.

  16. My son seems to think his bedroom his haunted. Maybe he just needs more cheese. We don’t let him sleep in our bed anymore – he needs to sleep in his own room, but I still find him lying in the chair in my room almost every morning. Apparently the sound of the furnace downstairs kicking on freaks him out.

    • OMG! The sound of the furnace used to totally freak me out when I was little! My parents got me a cat to keep me company. It sort of worked. Twitch.

  17. Cheese sandwiches? Like French Emmental on sliced baguette with duck rillettes? Maybe it’s all been a dream since then…

  18. I used to hang out on Eel Pie Island back in the late 60s. Thanks again for a great read.

  19. YAY! Halloween stories!

  20. First, let’s just stop and reflect on that model with the cheese sandwich on her head. Very vegetarian Lady gaga.

    Second: the hooves of his horse still echoed down Weathercock Lane

    Yes, yes they did.

  21. I wonder if the cuoncil would believe that our house is infested with furry demons. We could do with a cut in our council tax!

  22. I do find cheese sandwiches a most becoming mode of dress. It reminds me of a time when M. DeFarge sported a bag of chips after one particularly drunken night.

  23. I don’t even understand how you can kill someone by putting them in a cupboard. I’m trying, but it’s not working. I’ll focus on the cheese, instead.

  24. I never understood these crazy fashions! Aside from even ridiculous Halloween costumes they make no sense! I grew up in NYC and although I never traveled in “certain circles” I have seen alot of weird getups in the streets. What do they do with them?
    Eat them? They certainly don’t wear them anywheres do they?????I am baffled! 🙂

  25. I’m always the butt of food jokes since I’m a lazy vegetarian and often end up with cheese sandwiches for my lunch…NOW it’s coming all into perspective. No wonder there are strange noises everywhere I go–it’s the ghosts!

  26. I have never been one who has been into hauntings but I can understand how some would recoil at the possibility of such a thing and not want to move in.

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