AN AUTHOR researching stories of ghosts and other supernatural phenomena has been asking Bracknell residents for their stories regarding Nine Mile Ride and Caesar’s Camp.
Ruth Roper Wylde, author of a number of books detailing reports of ‘supernatural’ phenomena, asked Bracknell residents if they had any firsthand experience on Facebook yesterday, Sunday 21.
She said that she was made aware of reported hauntings at Caesar’s Camp, Crowthorne, and on Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, consisting of reported ‘battle sounds’ and reported sightings of ancient Roman soldiers marching.
Ms Wylde said: “I started being interested as a teenager – I’m in my 50’s now and retired.
“I grew up in a house that had what would be termed as a ‘poltergeist’, and had a very practical-minded mother who didn’t believe in ghosts, and that made me curious.
“It’s really important to me because I really want to know what’s happening, and what causes the phenomena that people experience.
She explained that she has been keeping a database of reportings since her teenage years, and since retiring four years ago she has been reaching out to residents local to the different sightings via social media and listening to their stories, which she has been compiling into a series of books.
Ms Wylde continued: “Caesar’s Camp was on my database. The story that I had originally heard said that along Nine Mile Ride you can hear battle sounds or marching feet, or even see Roman soldiers.
“That would make the assumption it is part of a Roman road, but it isn’t. The Roman road runs parallel to Nine Mile Ride to the south, known as the Devil’s Highway.
“That makes you think – are people seeing the ghosts on Nine Mile Ride, or are they misreporting that? I suspect that probably is the case.”
Nine Mile Road, connecting southern Bracknell to Finchampstead, Wokingham, was built between 1700-1800 for King George III, and despite it’s name is only actually 6.7 miles long.
The Devil’s Highway, which has been traced back to around 47AD, stretched from London to Silchester, passing through Berkshire and Hampshire.
Ms Wylde added: “I haven’t heard anyone come forward for Nine Mile Ride – lots of people have heard of the legend, but not experienced anything themselves.
“But I have heard people say they have experienced weird things by Caesar’s Camp, the Iron-Age hill fort – one person was camping one night a couple decades ago, and at 3am they heard a battle going on.
“One person said they did a lot of night training exercises there with the ATC (Air Training Corps), and they heard and saw some weird things they couldn’t explain.
“That tends to suggest that there is still something active around Caesar’s Camp, but I suspect the soldiers marching along nine Mile Ride is an urban myth.”
According to Bracknell Forest Council, the camp is the remains of an Iron Age hillfort, constructed entirely by hand using basic tools and is “a remarkable piece of engineering.”
The council detailed that the site was originally used as a defensive location, however it has been argued that it may have also been a market place, or a religious or political centre.
English Heritage conducted a geophysical survey of the site in 1995, concluding the site was mistakenly believed to been have left by the Ancient Romans.
To contact and for more information on Ruth Roper Wylde, visit facebook.com/RuthRoperWylde/.
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