Monday, 22 June 2009
The Kings Arms
Haunted lane adjacent to the inn
Mysterious key hangs behind the bar (Image credit Bozzer)
This beautiful 17th century inn near Bath, was built on the site of an 11th century Cluniac priory and is currently owned by Simon Blagden and Vince Hanley.
Since taking over the inn, Simon and Vince have spent a lot of time lovingly restoring and refurbishing the interior, although great care has been taken by both to retain many of its original features. Mr. Hanley openly admits that since he and Mr. Blagden took over the running of the pub, they have become quite accustom to the very current and very active ghostly activity, which has earned the pub the title of
'Most Haunted Inn in Wiltshire'.
One of the more frequent disturbances takes place above the main bar, where heavy footsteps are often heard walking the length of the upper floor and ending by a window, at which point there is the sound of a woman sobbing.
Hauntings are not just confined to the interior of the pub. During the Victorian era, a local woman was heading home late at night in her carriage, when her horse took fright and bolted. Terrified, the woman desperately tried to regain control of her horse but tragedy was to follow. Nearing the inn at great speed, her carriage clipped a wall and overturned killing her outright. Her untimely and abrupt exit from this life may account for claims by the locals, who say they have heard the ghostly screams of a woman in the lane and the thunder of horses hooves.
There is the ghost of a monk who walks from the pub to a nearby mine, angrily searching for justice for a crime that befell him during the monastic occupation of the original site. Another monk, or maybe the same one, is fond of playing tricks with the bar staff which include moving things about and switching lights on and off.
During construction work in the 1990’s to open up a fireplace in one of the bars, two mysterious gentlemen called in to warn a barmaid that, “no good will come of your work here”. Having issued their warning, the two gentlemen abruptly disappeared leaving the barmaid somewhat shocked and stunned. Renovations continued on the fireplace, regardless of the threat. A little later, whilst knocking through a wall adjacent to the fireplace, a mysterious key was found. The key was inserted in every lock in the building but failed to fit any of them. This strange and tantalising artefact now hangs behind one of the bars.