Huddington Court, Worcestershire
The Wintour family were in the gunpowder plot up to their soon-to-be-broken necks. Thomas and Robert Wintour were cousins of the chief plotter, Robert Catesby, and a half-brother, John, threw in with the doomed schemers after the plot was unearthed.
Robert lived at Huddington Court, a family home from the end of the 15th century. When young, the Wintour brothers both scratched their names into a window, and their signatures can still be seen today.
Older, but perhaps not much wiser, they returned to Huddington on the run from London with the law on their tale. They rested a short while, took Mass, and rode off to their capture and death.
The ghost at Huddington is said to be of Robert’s widow, Gertrude (nee Talbot), who promenades in a part of the garden known as Lady Wintour’s Walk. The ghost has no head, and is said to be awaiting the return of her husband.
Robert never did come home again, he and his brother were both executed in London in January 1606.
Thomas’s confession – after torture and probably much embellished – has been the basis for much of the history written about the plot.