1 Digbeth St, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham
A truly ancient inn where the building has history from AD 947, it has a Jacobean façade on the original oak structure. There have been carbon dating tests, proving the timber to be over 1,000 years in age. It locals knew it as the Eagle and Child in the 13th century, with originally occupied by a Saxon duke, Aethelmar. It was later inhabited by the Knights of St John’s Hospitallers. During restoration over the years, there has been found a Saxon shoe, a Royalist commander’s letters and a tunnel leading to the church. A dowser reported there had been a settlement on the site in AD 514. In the 1970s, an intriguing symbol reports revealed: scratch marks into the brickwork of the fireplace and dated as early 1500s. This was the ‘witch mark’ to protect the house. The Royalist exhibits ghostly manifestations. these include John Shellard, who died in 1630 aged 15, murdered by members of his family. This unlawful killing had been carried out to obtain his property, including this inn. A clairvoyant regularly visits the pub. The clairvoyant has seen two children in Victorian clothing and recorded rhythmic tapping sounds. Between the bar and reception area, visitors have seen the ghost of a young man smiling at them, only to dissolve into a misty grey shape and disappear. The apparitions of an elegant woman in a long, lacy dress and a cavalier in full uniform and plumed hat have been observed on the stairs. Two little girl urchin ghosts, in tattered clothing, have been found weeping outside the inn. The apparition of a tall knight in black armour, menacingly standing motionless, appears on a landing. Occasionally, there have been sounds of music and singing during the night when all are abed. Some individuals who have encountered this audible episode describe it as a small group singing madrigals.