This private residence near Preston dates from 1300, and is thought to be the oldest inhabited brick house in England. Originally known as Singleton Hall, it was owned by the Singletons, the family that built it, until 1585 when the last of the family, Eleanor Singleton, died at the Hall. After that it passed to the Wall family, through marriage, and returned to the Singletons in the eighteenth century.
It is thought that the Chapel roof beams in the Hall came originally from a Viking longboat, a sign of the building's age. The beams became associated with the Hall's considerable paranormal activity when, in the 1970s, they seemed to catch fire without obvious cause - a fire that disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as it started. Mysterious lights have also been photographed near the chapel ceiling.
Chingle Hall was a centre for forbidden Catholic worship during the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many priests' holes, or hiding places where Catholic priests were sheltered from the authorities, can be seen in the Hall.
In 1980, mysterious rapping noises were recorded coming from one of these hidden spaces, along with sudden changes in temperature and a shape moving across the floor. Five years later, paranormal investigators reported seeing a disembodied hand reach from within the hiding place, and move bricks.
Visitors have reported seeing the ghostly figures of monks in and around the building. There is a legend that the severed head of John Wall, a Catholic priest from the Preston Wall family, executed in 1679 and canonised as a saint of the Catholic Church in 1970, was buried at Chingle Hall.
In the room most directly associated with John Wall, the sounds of a drawbridge being raised have been recorded by paranormal investigators. The Hall's medieval drawbridge would have been situated in this room. The presence of child ghosts has been sensed in the Hall, and a photograph captured what seems to be the face of a seventeenth-century Cavalier in an upstairs window of the house.
Much of the Hall's strange phenomena centres on the room associated with Eleanor Singleton, the last of the Singleton family, who died at Chingle Hall, aged twenty. There is a legend that she was kept prisoner in the room for over twelve years, and eventually murdered.
Visitors to Eleanor's room have felt deep and inexplicable sadness; some have even fainted. Many people report a sensation of being touched and having their clothing pulled by invisible hands. They have also smelt lavender, connected with Eleanor's spirit. A young woman's scream has been captured on tape in the area by paranormal investigators.
Chingle Hall gained plenty of publicity over the last thirty years for its phenomena. However, visitors to the area should bear in mind that the house and grounds are no longer open to the earthly public.