The Saracens Head Hotel
Market Place, Southwell
This is a superb old former-coaching inn, with much in the way of external beaming and contemporaneous features inside. In the middle of the façade stands a good example of an ancient archway that leads through to the stables. There are deeds of property dated 1341. It was at this inn in 1647, when its' name was the King’s Head, that Charles the First surrendered to the Scottish Commissioners. The King had escaped from Oxford with his good friend, Dr Hudson, and made his way to Southwell.
After the execution of the King, the name of the inn was changed to the Saracen’s Head and there are two explanations given for this. One, that Charles was executed using a Saracen sword, and the second was an oblique reference to his son, who became Charles the Second. It was known by the locals as the Black Boy because of his swarthy complexion.
The Saracen’s Head exhibits ghostly manifestations, said to include the ghosts of Charles the First and the poet, Lord Byron, who appears in, and around, the laundry room.
There have been many reports of paranormal phenomena, from cold spots to orb sightings. An apparition from the Eighteenth century appears at the Saracens Head, complete with a full bottomed and powdered wig!
Finally, there is the ghost of a woman who appears in late Nineteenth century dress. It is claimed that this is a Miss Clements, who expired in 1857, having been run down by a cart driven by the son of the proprietor.