With Cathleen Ross
The ghosts of Tewkesbury Abbey
I knew when I went to England last May on historical author, Alison Weir's Lancaster and York tour, I could choose to open myself up to seeing history from a different perspective.
One of the highlights for me was visiting Tewkesbury Abbey, the site where the Lancastrian forces were routed in 1471. While Alison and her historians gave wonderful lectures on the bus about the battle, I closed my eyes and focused on what they were saying. As we drove towards the abbey I had a vision of hundreds and hundreds of crosses. Although this wasn't the site of the battle, which was on a field in front of Tewkesbury Abbey, when I did my research later, I realized we were crossing the site where hundreds of Lancastrians were hunted and cut down while trying to flee the battle. When the Lancastrians were routed, nobles and knights fled into the abbey hoping for sanctuary, but they didn't get it.
On checking the history of events after the battle the victorious York King, Edward 1V supposedly took mass in the abbey, though I don't know how this was done when his enemies were taking sanctuary there too. What I did know, through my psychic senses, is that a battle took place inside the abbey, so vicious that the place still rings with the blood and cries of the men who fought.
Alison told us that King Edward freed the common soldiers who fought for the losing Lancastrian side. Was this true? I sat at the back of the abbey, closed my eyes and asked to see. A commanding voice spoke to me. "You do not have jurisdiction here."
I knew this was the voice of the guardian of the abbey, possibly a priest who is responsible for the dead who still reside there seven hundred years later.
I explained who I was and why I was there. I also asked his permission 'to see'. I'm always very respectful when I communicate with the dead. I wanted to know what had really happened that day in 1471. Had the common soldiers been pardoned and freed by Edward as Alison Weir reported?
What I saw was the floor under my feet awash with blood. It rippled across the tiles like a wave sweeping the shore. Many common soldiers had been slaughtered there by the York army. These common soldiers died hoping their commanders, who they trusted, would be able to save their lives, but their Lancastrian noble leaders were captured and beheaded outside the abbey.
I had my vision verified by the guide who worked at the abbey. The guide sees a priest reading mass when he opens the abbey in the morning and the guide's daughter sees the soldiers' ghosts wandering around the abbey when it is quiet and the living aren't present. If you go there when the abbey is quiet, you might like to - ask 'to see'.
Cathleen Ross' next Harlequin Escape release is Ruby's Fantasy. Available April 1.