8 Thames Street, East Molesey, Hampton, Greater London
A five centuries old inn, it is , locals knew, locally as the ‘Crooked House’ since the building has twisted on its foundations over the years. One of the first bridge crossings over the Thames dates from near here from Hampton Court. Prior to that, there had been a large number of ferryboats to make the crossing. Among regular customers at the inn was the highwayman, Claude Duval, at the time of Charles 2nd. He had been a footman to the Duke of Richmond before he got into bad company, with fled to France where he turned high-class swindler. One of Duval’s confidence tricks was to persuade the confessor to the King of France he could turn base metal into gold. Duval , authorities hanged, at Tyburn in January 1670. His ghost , witnesses have seen, drifting in the warren of small and beamed bars at the Bell Inn, wearing a long cloak and tricorne hat. There are also the ghostly sounds of men arguing violently on the first floor, although no one is visible.