Langley Castle is searching for details about its 'grey lady' with a mistaken identity

A Northumberland castle hotel is hoping the story of its own supposed ghost, the ‘grey lady’, is told accurately.
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Langley Castle Hotel, near Haydon Bridge, exploded the myth relating to erroneous tales about the mysterious figure during the first Covid lockdown.

Now they have discovered that the ghostly figure who, for decades, had been named as Maud de Lucy, a widowed and weeping woman, mourning her husband’s death to the extent that she jumps from a window, could not possibly be Maud.

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Having delved into the genealogy, it found Maud de Lucy had twice married, with her second husband being Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland.

Langley Castle, in Langley-on-Tyne, Northumberland, by night.Langley Castle, in Langley-on-Tyne, Northumberland, by night.
Langley Castle, in Langley-on-Tyne, Northumberland, by night.

This took Maud to Alnwick, transferring the Langley estate into the hands of the Percy family, through marriage. Maud then passed away before her second husband, so was never a grieving and suicidal widow.

Any ‘ghost’ had to have been in residence of Langley Castle prior to 1405 as it was unoccupied after that year, which is likely when King Henry IV ordered the arson attack that burnt its roof, as punishment on the Percy family’s opposition to him. The castle was not then lived in for around 500 years.

Langley Castle deduced that the ghostly figure could only be Agnes de Beaumont (born 1323), the second wife of Langley Castle’s founder and first owner, Thomas de Lucy, and stepmother to Maud.

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All Langley Castle knows of this illusive figure is she was the daughter of Henry de Beaumont and a relative of King Edward III, who urged Thomas de Lucy to marry her in 1343. They had no children and there are no details of when or how she died, just that it was after 1359.

Despite having proven the fallacy of the Maud story, stories continue to be published on the topic. Langley Castle wants to put this story to bed and concentrate on what could be more historically probable.

However, it’s still on the hunt for more information about Agnes three years later, with no luck finding out more about her death and place of burial. These details could possibly give more credence to the story of the grey lady’s death and the jump from a window.

Langley Castle’s executive general manager, Margaret Livingstone-Evans, said: “We hope that nobody will name our grey lady incorrectly this year and that we can instead start to find out more about Agnes and whether she had a sorrowful end,”

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“Our grey lady has reportedly been seen by a few people here and, we believe, inspired the Grey Lady character in the Harry Potter series, after J K Rowling visited Langley Castle.

"We think it only right that we do not do her a disservice by misnaming her as Maud. It would spook anyone to be the victim of a case of mistaken identity.”

Anyone with further details about Agnes de Lucy, née Beaumont, should email [email protected].

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