The incredible story of the Appuldurcombe House scandal

Appuldurcombe House is a house of the 1700 located in Wroxall at the Isle of Wight, built on the ruins of an old house from the Tudor era which was in turn built on another house from the 1100.

The Tudor house belonged to the Worsley family. The structure was originally the site of a priory, which was established in 1100, then became a convent, before finally becoming a private residence for the Leigh family.

Photo: © Copyright Ian Capper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License .

The site was later bought by the Worsley family, who eventually replaced the residence with the grand mansion in 1702. The property is famous for having 52 rooms (one room for each week of the year) and 365 windows (one for each day of the year).

The property is currently managed by English Heritage , and is open to the public  only in spring and summer. The house was a masterpiece of Baroque architecture with gardens created by the great  Capability Brown.

Unfortunately, due to extensive damage caused by bombing during WWII, a large portion of the house is no longer habitable.

The scandal surrounding the Worsley family has given rise to numerous legends and gossip. In 1700, Sir Richard Worsley inherited Appuldurcombe.

Four years later, he met Seymour Fleming, a wealthy heiress with an unsavoury reputation, and they married and had a child in 1776.

Sir Richard Worsley, on the other hand, was consumed by politics and other interests, as well as a love affair with the Duchess of Devonshire. It was not uncommon for a man to leave his wife at home and engage in romantic affairs with other women at the time. With the threat of a French invasion looming, the troops arrive, led by a young aristocrat named George Bisset.

The man became friends with Sir Worsley and then with his wife, and they eventually shared a bed. However, Sir Worsley was apparently aroused by this and enjoyed watching them until his wife ran off with Bisset.

Sir Worsley then decided to sue Bisset, seeking a large sum of money for the harm done to him and his wife. However, details about Sir Worsley’s involvement in the near triangle and his wife’s poor reputation were revealed in court.

Sir Worsley was eventually fined one shilling, but you have to imagine that the whole thing was a huge scandal, with all the details of the case and trial being published daily in the newspapers at the time.

As a result, Sir Worsley died alone and unhappy in 1700. According to legend, Richard still roams the house, possibly looking for his wife Seymour. However, there are two other ghosts in the house, one of a crying child and the other of a mentally ill monk running around the property.

The monk could have been one of the Benedictine monks who lived in the house during the Middle Ages as their abbey was rebuilt.

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