The Ragged Cot
Cirencester Road, Stroud
It is a singularly curious name for a pub. It is rooted in ancient times. ‘Rag’ was large coarse roofing slate and a ‘cot’ was a small building for shelter. Now it is a 17th-century stone-built building. The ghosts who haunt this pub have a tragic history. Their story goes back to 1760 when the then proprietor Bill Clavers, hard up. The worse the wear for drink decided to hold up the midnight stagecoach to London. When his wife pleaded with him not to go, he pushed her down a staircase as she held their baby in her arms. On his return from his robbery, the constables hard on his heels, Clavers discovered that both were dead. He held off the police outside while trying to conceal the bodies of his wife and child in a trunk. As the constables prepared to storm the building, they heard a cry of horror from inside the pub. Clavers later said he had seen the ghost of his wife, holding their child. She walked across the floor and ascended the stairs. One of the constables reported he had seen the ghost of a woman with a baby in her arms, who watched them as people found their bodies.