The Fleece Inn
The Cross, Bretforton, Evesham
A unique country pub, it was left to the National Trust in 1977, provided it was never changed and never sold potato crisps. It was opened as a pub in 1848, by a local farmer, Henry Byrd, who sold beer and cider. His great-granddaughter, Lola Taplin, was the licensee for many years until she died in 1977, aged 83. In front of the fireplace in one bar are painted three white circles, made long before it became a pub. These were a crude talisman to prevent witches coming down the chimney and infesting the building. These may well have been introduced to the building in the 17th or early 18th century. The bars are full of the artefacts Lola Taplin inherited or assembled; wooden cheese moulds black with age; a cheese press weighted with a massive block of stone, and a magnificent collection of pewter salvers from the English Civil War. The ghostly form of Lola herself frequently appears, sitting in the rocking chair in the Pewter Room. The village has several legends of ghosts, with a history of murder. It exhibits ghostly manifestations. these include a phantom funeral procession arriving at the church. Although for whom it attends, no one knows. On either side of the church are fields haunted by a ghostly woman, holding her head under one arm.