Slimbridge Dowsing


Murder and Rape in Arlingham

Arlingham murder newpaper report
The full article can be found at

We found the site of the Arlingham murder easily enough. And the rape as well. The long lost big house was more of a challenge, until we changed tack and asked about a monastery instead. Then we started getting results.

The murder has been well documented, particularly in the newspapers of the time - 1873, but no one was precisely sure where it had taken place. Apparently Edward Butt shot Amelia Phipps at Keithís Farm in Arlingham because she refused to go to the Cheese Fair with him. Fair enough, some might say, but he got his comeuppance. He escaped to the Severn, and faked his own suicide, but in fact waded across to the Newnham side. (Donít try this at home.)

Later a letter arrived from a pub landlord in Abergavenny - Butt was working there as a barman. He was arrested and brought to Gloucester prison, made a full confession and was hanged on 12th January 1874. And on Saturday 24th May, 2014, Rob dowsed the exact whereabouts of the shooting.

planning the dayRon Jewell, Rob Gerrish, Barry Goldring planning the day's dowsing

Elsewhere, Trish asked to be shown the site of a rape, and followed her rods to the stinging nettles beside the old barn. It happened in1552, poor girl. Later, Steve asked if a crime had been committed there. The rods indicated No. Had there been a rape then? Yes. He asked for a date and got 1550, too close to call. Presumably rape wasnít considered a crime in the sixteenth century?

Meanwhile, Barry found that the monastery dated from around 1700; there was an associated Chantry chapel (where they chanted for the soul of the departed); a well house (ornate covering for a well); and a pond house (no, I donít know either). Ros also found two ley lines, one of them headed straight for Gloucester Cathedral.

As if all that wasnít enough to be going on with, there was also an area with several private burials. How many and when? We dowsed again in driving rain, and received several different answers, so the jury is still out on the private burials.

It seems that sleepy Arlingham on the banks of the Severn has a rather violent past.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 12th June when author Adrian Incledon-Webber talks about Geopathic Stress. All welcome.