Ye Olde Black Bear
68 High St, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
A truly impressive inn, the building appears as though it had been contrived for a film set of Gothic tales. Local legend tells of a headless man dragging chains throughout the building. There have been several different descriptions of this phantom. Some witnesses have said he is dressed in an old style army uniform, while others have maintained he is wearing rough working clothes. The description ‘black’, in an inn name, was widespread in the 18th century. When the Gin Act of 1736 was imposed, it resulted in higher taxes for licensees. This met with universal disapproval, with many proprietors draped their inn signs with black velvet or added ‘black’ to the inn name. Occasionally, the inn name is associated with bear baiting, until that was banned by the Oldham Act of 1836.