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Duke Of Wellington Inn

West Lane, Danby

The village inn was once called the Red Briar, when it opened in 1765. Danby is an isolated village, surrounded by moorland and high hills. The Red Briar later became the Lord Wellington, with then renamed the Duke of Wellington, when it was a recruiting post for soldiers for the war against Napoleon. Three mourners, who became lost on a ‘Corpse Trail’ that runs to the north of the inn, died from exposure; their bodies were carried back to this hostelry for an inquest. The ghosts of these men haunt the inn, with the sound of weeping and a dramatic drop in temperature. Corpse trails were common throughout England when people lived in remote villages without burial grounds. They had to convey the bodies of the dead some distance for interment. Corpses were carried along defined roads to avoid their spirits returning to haunt the living. It was a widespread custom, for example, that the feet of the corpse be kept pointing away from the family home on its journey to the cemetery. This was a precaution to prevent them returning to the family home.
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