Thursday, 5 June 2008



The Ghosts Of The Roman Walk. Wargrave.

I’m probably about ten years old now and I’ve been down the village with my older brother George. It’s dark, getting late, and extremely foggy. (Never thought I’d be looking back at ‘foggy nights’ with affection, but we just don’t get them now).

Halfway up the road at the junction of School lane, Victoria road and Dark lane was one of the very few street lamps at that time in the village, and it’s where a ‘congregation’ would form regularly at nights to discuss all manner of things. Usually mischievous, but nothing too serious.

Anyway, this night in particular, there were two of the local ‘great story-tellers’, Mick Jones, and Eric Llewellyn. Both were quite a bit older than me, but fascinating to listen to. They seemed to always have the ‘perfect’ night time stories that would send shivers up your spine and give you nightmares for weeks.

Mick Jones was particularly keen on the little War Magazines that were prevalent at that time, and would often relay the stories to us, with many extra ‘gory bits’ added for good measure.

Eric was more of the local ‘murder, mystery and suspense’ story-teller. He was obviously very interested in local history, but used to love to ‘embellish’ the truth somewhat. Just to make his stories seem more scary than Mick’s I should think.

It was one of Eric’s ramblings that set me off on one of my frequent trips into fantasy land. He was telling of the history of ‘The Roman walk’ at Wargrave, and why it got it’s name.
According to ‘Eric-the-fibber’, battalions of roman soldiers would walk through the village on their way to Linden Hill.
(Though we never did find out WHY they used to march to Linden Hill)

Apparently they used to use The Roman Walk to hold ‘Orgies’ and secretly worship the Devil in Black Magic ceremonies. He would go into great detail about WHAT actually went on there. So much so, that he was really believable.

He also went on to say that the Walk was still haunted, and that regularly, if you settle down nice and quiet, you’ll hear them marching, flame torches will be lit, and you’ll be able to see for yourself EXACTLY what used to go on in those days.

George and Myself got home very late that night, much to the annoyance of my Dad, but he was pretty much used to it by now. I went to bed to settle down into my late night reading, but all I could think about was Eric’s fantastic tales.

That was IT! the next night I went down to The Roman walk to keep watch. I settled in the tunnel that runs under the Roman walk about halfway down, where a tree trunk used to lay across he path. I waited, and waited, and waited and…….
you guessed it. No Roman Soldiers turned up. But what DID happen as I got more and more tired was……….

The trees started looking at me. They started bending in my direction, pulling faces and ‘talking’ to me. I’m pretty certain that I also saw a few of them actually MOVE. As I looked up into the wintry sky the twigs on the branches formed fingers that were curling and beckoning me, while at the same time creating quite a noise in this ‘dead’ of night.

Because I was down in the tunnel, I felt trapped. Too scared to leave incase ‘the trees’ got me. But then I would also hear all the other noises of the night as the nocturnal wildlife took over the area.

I felt stuck. I knew I had to get back home as it was getting late now. But my imagination and my tiredness had got the better of me and I was just TOO scared to move. You can imagine my relief as I heard voices coming along the walk. Not just any old Roman voices, but voices I recognised instantly. Stan Povey and his older brother Gilly were making their way back home. They lived at the far end of The Roman Walk and used it all the time.

I think I might have startled them a bit as I jumped out from the tunnel in the dead of night, but they were good enough to walk me back to the relative ‘civilisation’ of the Wargrave Village High St.

When I told them WHY I was there, they looked at each other, nervously laughed, and changed the subject quick.

Did they know something I didn’t?

Catch you later,




Poetikat said...

How amazing to be able to walk the paths of the ancient Romans! The history in your country is so fantastic. My husband and I watched "Buildings that Shaped Britain" a while ago and it was just so incredible. (You certainly do have a lot of historians over there as a result, don't you?)

I loved this telling of your spooky experience, Pete. I have added you to the new "BLOG LIST" that Blogger provides with updates. Check it out at the bottom of the sidebar on my blog when you get the chance.


Pete Moring. said...

Thanks Kat, I guess we take our history for granted here. It's just such a pity that the 'Politically Correct' crowd deem it 'insulting' to our influx of multi-nationals to talk about our glorious history.
Most state run schools concentrate on mainly 'recent' history, (Just so that we don't offend anyone). It's as if we Brit's should be totally ashamed of our past. We'll certainly have no 'future' to look forward to if something isn't done about these loonies pretty soon.