Workington Hall (or Curwen Hall) is a ruin near Workington, Cumbria, England, Britain. It was formerly a castle-like dwelling built in 1379 by the Curwen family. It was originally only made up of the small tower in the north-west corner, but with funding from the Curwens' good friend King Richard the Third it was developed into quite a castle. The Curwen family were barons, they owned the whole Workington Area. They came originally from Galloway and Northumberland. But because of their useful support of the king during the Crusades they were rewarded with this piece of land
The Curwens are the only family to have ever lived in this building, They abandoned it in 1929 leaving it to ruin. Due to floods and general lack of maintenance, the hall became ruined. In 1970 however they decided to preserve it, so that people could visit it. Even to this day however, Workington Hall is home to a haunting phenomenon.
Henry Curwen (sometimes called Harry, or Galloping Henry) was the owner of Workington hall at the turn of the eighteenth century. He had inherited the property and wealth from his family. Despite the Curwens' connections with the English aristocracy, Henry was a Jacobite (a follower of the scottish King James - the Curwens were part Scottish after all). Henry was also devoutly catholic and typically Jacobite. A risky decision during the time period he lived in. These factors may have made him unpopular with the English royals. But he became good friends with the Scots. Namely Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary rewarded his loyalty with jewels and extensions to his place of living, Workington Hall.
Henry's controversy and wealth made him well-known in the area. His reputation also made him a good target for robbers. Luckily, Henry Curwen was a good horseman and a good fighter. He could easily chase most thieves (and even highwaymen) away by himself. Unfortunately though, Henry Curwen fell ill, very ill in fact. Eventually he became bed-ridden.
Word of the Baron's illness excited thieves more then ever. Word of this oppurtunity even reached France where a well known pickpocket woman heard of it. She decided to make the voyage all the way to Cumbria to steal jewels from henry.
She sailed to Workington using a smallish boat. Once there she got into Workington Hall. As she entered the building Henry was resting, incapable in his bed. He could hear the thief coming and wished to stop her but his ailment would not even allow him to get up. It turned out that, despite rumours, Henry had made the effort to keep his jewels safely in his sight, in his bedroom. This left a dilemma for the French thief who had not expected this. She wished not to be identified by Henry Curwen, and so decided to kill him.
Henry was conscious but he did not have enough energy to move. The burglar simply dragged him out of his bed and dragged him down the stairs, so that his head would hit every step. This killed Henry Curwen. The French woman then took the jewels and escaped. Her boat would later capsize and sink during a storm in the Solway Coast, losing the treasure and the thief.
The Curwen family were bereaved by the murder of Henry, and decided to hang his portrait at the bottom of the stairs to commemorate his death. Years later, however, an inheritor of the building started feeling unnerved around the portrait. And so turned it around so that it faced the wall. This clearly annoyed the ghost of Henry Curwen who then started to haunt the building. His Ghost would ride a phantom horse sometimes, and gallop around and throughout the building - earning him the nickname of 'Galloping Henry'. Loud thumping noises have also been heard throughout Workington Hall, especially near the stairway where Henry was murdered. It is believed to be the sound of Henry's ghost, re-enacting his murder.