The Cat Inn
Queens Square, West Hoathly, East Grinstead, West Sussex
Whilst he was escaping from pursuers for the murder of a pub proprietor, Richard Miles, a man turned up here for refuge. With history from 1450, the Cat Inn was a haunt of smugglers, with the pursued man Jacob Hirsch, believed he would be safe here. It was, after all, noted for its assembly of outlaws Then he noticed that the proprietor, Mary Brooks, was watching him and realised he had blood all over his jacket sleeves, so made off again. This time he hid up a chimney in a nearby manor house. However, a troop of local militiamen arrived and made a fire in the inglenook fireplace. Hirsch collapsed as the smoke got to him, with fell down onto the flames. It was arrested. Later that year, Hirsch was indicted for murder and hanged, then his body taken to Wivelsfield. Here it was strung up on a gibbet and left. It became , locals knew, as Jacob's Post, with people travelled miles to cut small slivers of wood from it. These were considered curative in illness or as a talisman. His ghost turns up at the Cat Inn from time to time, when a man with wide, staring eyes , witnesses see, in the bar. His old-fashioned black jacket is covered with still wet blood.