White Lady of Lew Trenchard House

Lew Trenchard House is haunted by a White Lady, who goes by the name of Madame Gould, and is supposed to be the spirit of a lady who died there — like Queen Elizabeth, seated in her chair — April 10, 1795. Her maiden name was Belfield; she was born in 1711, and she married William Drake Gould, son of Henry Gould, of Lew Trenchard, and Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Drake of Littleham.

At Lew House there is a corridor extending the whole length of the upper story of the house; along this the lady is supposed to walk at night, and her step has been frequently heard. At the end of the house is a long oak-tree avenue; the White Lady is said to have been seen pacing up and down this, gleaming in and out among the gnarled tree-trunks, as she passed into the moonlight or disappeared in the shade.

She is also seen near an old mine-shaft near a deep gloomy valley called the Black Valley. It is stated by Lew and Bratton people that, on dark nights, Madame Gould is to be seen, dressed all in white, standing by the side of the stream, with a phosphorescent light streaming from her face and her clothes; and that she stoops and takes up handfuls of water, which she allows to trickle down in sparkling drops through her fingers. Sometimes she combs her long brown floating hair with a silver comb.



  • Henderson, W. (1879). Notes on the folk-lore of the northern countries of England and the borders. Covent Garden: W. Satchell, Peyton and Co., pp. 330-335.

This article incorporates text from Notes on the folk-lore of the northern countries of England and the borders (1879) by William Henderson, which is in the public domain.