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The Red Cloaked Ladies of Castle Rising

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As the bells ring out on a Sunday morning in the picturesque village of Castle Rising, a procession of ladies wearing bright red cloaks make their way to the village church of St. Lawrence. 

These ladies are the inhabitants of Trinity Hospital or Bede House located in the village.

 On their cloaks are the badge of the Howard Family who first established the Castle Rising almshouse. 

It was in 1614 that Henry Howard the Earl of Northampton founded the place and also imposed certain conditions on its inhabitants, conditions which apply to this day.

The Conditions - along with attending church regularly, the women must  be able to read, must be single, aged at least 56, no scold, no harlot, no drunkard, no haunter of tavern, inn or alehouse.

Once a year on founders day these ladies add to their regalia a black coned hat, similar to the type one would imagine a witch would wear.