Since Elizabethan times, stately homes in Britain have included a long gallery. Sudbury Hall is no exception.
Stretching the length of the house, lined with windows and artwork, this room would have been used for exercise. High born inhabitants would pace up and down, collecting their thoughts and contemplating the scenery.
One of them apparently still does.
There have been many sleepless nights for Sudbury Hall's National Trust Property Managers. The flat which comes with the job is situated directly beneath the Long Gallery. During the night, when all is otherwise quiet, footsteps can be heard walking up and down, up and down, in the room above.
Sometimes it even triggers an alarm. Responsible for security, the manager has to leap from his or her bed and rush up the grand staircase to check for intruders. There is never anybody there. The Long Gallery remains empty.
However, a clue to the nocturnal walker may come in the blue lady seen by some visitors to the house.
When the Mayor of Derby visited, in an official capacity, his chauffeur remained with the car outside. Sudbury Hall staff, eager to extend their hospitality, kept nipping out to invite him to come inside. There were refreshments being served in the Long Gallery.
The chauffeur said no, but everyone got the sense that it wasn't just professionalism keeping him out. He looked decidedly uncomfortable.
Eventually he was outright asked why; and then he shared a story dating sixteen years before. He had been just an ordinary visitor then, touring the house with his family. They'd wandered into the Long Gallery and immediately spotted the lady in a long, blue gown, sitting on a chair at the far end.
The assumption, of course, was that she was a tour guide, dressed in period costume as part of a living history day. But that was strange, because no-one else was doing that.
As the family neared her seat, she suddenly stood and, without a word, walked into the adjoining Talbot Room. They followed her inside, then started with shock. The book-lined room was completely devoid of a single soul, but themselves.
By now very rattled, the chauffeur and his family rushed out to find the nearest actual tour guide. They were reliably informed that no-one was dressed up that day; and no-one had been overseeing the Long Gallery.