Bacup Royal Court Theatre History Assignment

Road Directions

From M65: Exit junction 9 and take the A679 exit to Burnley (W)/Halifax. At the roundabout take the exit onto A679 heading to Halifax/A646. At the roundabout take the exit onto Accrington Road/A679. Turn right at Rossendale Road/A646 and continue on A646. Turn left at Todmorden Road/A646. Turn right at Burnley Road/A646. Take slight right at Bacup Road/A671. Turn left at Yorkshire Street/A671. Turn right at St James Street/A671 and continue on A671. The theatre is on the left.

From M66: Continue onto A56, and take slight right at A682 (signposted for Rawtenstall). Turn right at Queens Square/A682. Take the 1st right onto Bury Road/A682. Take slight left at Bocholt Way/A681 and continue on A681. Go through 1 roundabout. Take slight left at Newchurch Road/A681 and continue on A681. Take slight right at Yorkshire Street/A671. Turn right at St James Street/A671 and continue on A671. The theatre is on the left.

Follow the A681 from Rawtenstall [towards Todmorden], at the roundabout at Bacup centre turn right on to Rochdale Road. The theatre is located 400 yds on your left-hand side.

Public Transport Directions

For public transport information out of normal office hours contact:
Travel Line: 0871 200 2233 (for bus services around the Lancashire area)
National Rail Enquiries 08457 48 49 50

Bus services: No464 from Accrington/Rawtenstall/Rochdale.
No. 8 from Burnley. No.s: 32 & 64.

The Royal Court Theatre in Bacup, Lancashire, is renowned as a local focus for paranormal activity, attracting ghost hunters and mediums from around the country, eager to experience the unusual atmosphere that surrounds the property.

The building that is now home to the Royal Court Theatre, originally housed the Henrietta Street Iron Foundry, which was tragically gutted by fire in 1850. Much of the substantial stone building remained and the shell was bought in 1886 and reconstructed as a theatre which opened its doors in 1893; becoming the home to live music and variety acts. The theatre was, and still is, a source of local pride, boasting a vast auditorium, traditional sprung stage and an orchestra pit, which made it amongst the best facilities in the region.

Over the years the theatre has been the site of a number of cases of unusual occurrences, many of which seem to recur. Members of the public, theatre staff, stage crew and performers have all seen and heard unexplained happenings, with regular reports of ghostly apparitions. The Managing Director can recount episodes of thrown objects, bells being rung, draughts and curiously, a pair of ‘Blue Legs’. Another regular feature that has yet to be explained is the sound of a multitude of shuffling feet, as though a crowd were being seated.

One of the more regular entities claimed to have been seen is a young woman known as ‘Kitty’ who whose name coincides with an usherette who worked regularly in the auditorium. The most famous spirit however is ‘Norah’ who was captured in a photograph taken during a performance by the Second Rossendale Scout Band, which featured in the SUN newspaper in 2008. Not visible at the time, ‘Norah’ is described as an elderly woman dressed in black, with bunched grey hair and white collar. The image appeared when the photograph was downloaded onto a computer, and so far no-one has been able to explain how this could have occurred using a digital camera. Another regular is a man called Jackson, and there is also one resembling a doctor, who is reported to appear in reception. In 2009 a paranormal research group spent an evening at the theatre and during a séance on the stage they believe that they had an encounter with a young lad called Derek, who had died at the age of 13.

Given the age of the building and its history there will be numerous tales, some involving a tragic death or accident, relating to people linked to it. This makes the Royal Court Theatre a promising hunting ground for those looking for ghosts and mysterious occurrences. Then again, it is an old Victorian building with strange acoustics, echoing chambers and long dark passageways, prone to cold draughts and settling timbers. Whether the experiences of so many people are real or imaginary, the acts of spirits or just natural phenomena, has yet to be decided. In the meantime it continues to draw the curious from all over the country.

In Pure Spirit

Have you been to Lancashire and the Royal Court Theatre in Bacup? Did you sense anything there? Did you feel a malign entity that whispered about murder and death? Or do you feel this is yet another spun story, entirely unverified, and the sort of nonesense associated with TV psychics called Derek or Sally?

Image credit:Rob Carder, Pinterst.

Filed Under: Paranormal, PlacesTagged With: england, Royal Court Theatre, theatre, victorian

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