The Haycock Hotel
London Road, Wansford
The Haycock stands on the site of a previous inn, the Swan in 1632. Previous with notable guests at the Haycock Hotel included the young Queen Victoria and, earlier, Mary, Queen of Scots, on her way to imprisonment at Fotheringhay Castle. The inn, someone named, after a folk tale of Drunken Barnaby’s Four Journeys to the north of England. Barnaby fell asleep on a haycock. He floated away on a flood. He awakened by shouts “Where away, from Greenland? ‘No, Wansford Bridge in England’’ he replied. Since then the village was, locals knew, by locals as ‘Wansford in England’, with the sixth bell at the parish church is the Barnaby Bell. The building exhibits ghostly manifestations. These include a figure wearing 17th-century clothing. Reports claim it to be that of Richard Braithwaite, the author of the Barnaby adventures who had been a Royalist officer during the English Civil War. He had stayed at this inn. There is a particularly fine walled garden at the Haycock. Over the years, there have been many stories of the ghost of an old man meandering through this garden, carrying a trug. The Nene Valleys Railway Station nearby, is home to Britain’s international steam trains, with haunted by a ghostly passenger. This male ghost, witnesses have seen, on the platform with near the lavatories. CCTV at the station has caught several ghostly figures. Locked doors along the platform have opened, unaided by human hand. The depot exhibits ghostly manifestations. These include a former stationmaster, who expired by a train on the line as he searched for his pet cat, Snowy.