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…..