Founded by John Ayrton in 1900, Ayrton and Cornwell was one of the longest established law firms in Brighouse. until its demise in 2008. The business originally occupied a building called Springfield House on Hutchinson Lane but when this had to be demolished to make way for the Ludenshceid Link town bypass in the 1970s, they moved to new premises at 19 Bradford Road in the town centre.
In a Brighouse Echo article date 7th November 2008, senior partner Trevor Cornwell describes how the building had once been haunted by the ghost of a former office clerk named Ernie Green. His spirit is supposed to have departed following the death of his wife, Elsie. However, he may be the “man wearing a frock-coat standing by the counter” witnessed perceived there by local medium Jill Mayer at the time of the article.
Meanwhile, Mary Hartley – a secretary at the firm for twenty-eight years – claims the building has been the scene of disturbances dating back to 1994, including slamming doors, disembodied footsteps on the stairs, clocks changing time, taps turning themselves on and the sighting of a figure in the attic accompanied by a smell of perfume, which led Mrs. Hartley to dub the ghost “Charlotte”.