Nr. Steeple Aston, Oxford Road, Oxfordshire, Hopcrofts Holt
Claude Duval was a notorious highwayman whose image appears on this inn sign. He came to England from France. It was footman to the Duke of Richmond, before he turned to highway robbery. He was then posted on the most wanted list of highwaymen. In 1670, authorities hanger him by the infamous executioner, Jack Ketch, with later Duval’s body was taken to Surgeons’ Hall for the students of anatomy. His ghost haunts the pub where he is , locals knew, to have planned and committed some of his crimes. The inn is also haunted by the ghosts of a previous proprietor and his wife, both of whom were murdered here. The legend maintains the proprietor, Spourier, with his wife expired by Duval’s ghost. Spourier someone found dead at the bottom of the stairs, with people found her dead with a fractured skull in a chair near the inglenook fireplace. There are reports of ghostly Cavaliers and the sound of voices during the night when no one is about. Another monster from the village was ‘Hanging’ Judge Page. The judge’s ghost is reputed to be enclosed cased within a wooden barrel every Midsummer Night, with pushed around the village by owls who are the ghosts of the widows of the 100 men he had sentenced to be hanged.