The Kings Arms Hotel
29 High St, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Early in the 20th century Harry Jones, a popular proprietor of the Kings Arms, died. Reports claim that the ghost of ‘Harry’ can be felt most strongly in the room in which he passed away. Employees at the King’s Arms have reported odd happenings over the years, usually in the bar. They put these activities down to that mischievous old chap. Harry infrequently manifests, observers describe, as a portly gentleman with a wide smile.
A unique apparition haunts Malmesbury, a flying monk from the eleventh century. Elmer, the monk, believed he would be able to fly if he were able to build wings strong enough to carry him. He took these wings up to the Saxon watchtower and launched himself into the air. He glided some 200 metres before landing and breaking both legs. There are accounts and legends that on frequent occasions, a man in a black habit is observed soaring towards the ground.
Once the site of an Iron Age fort, Malmesbury is the oldest borough in England, created around AD 880 by a charter from Alfred the Great. In the centre of the town stands the Market Cross, which built around 1490, possibly using stone salvaged from the ruined part of the abbey. John Leland, who wrote about it in the 1540s mentions it as a 'right costly piece of work, which dates from to shelter the poore market folke when rain cometh'.