ANDREW HOMER reveals five haunted places to visit in Ludlow, Shropshire
The Bull Hotel, 14 Bull Ring Ludlow SY8 1AD
The Bull Hotel is a Grade II listed medieval hostelry which probably started life as housing for the stonemasons and artisans who built nearby St Lawrence’s Church. Internal alterations some years ago revealed a previously unknown priest hole and internal well. Uncovering the sealed up priest hole led to all sorts of paranormal activity immediately afterwards such as loud footsteps in rooms when there was nobody there and people getting tapped on the shoulder or feeling that someone had just brushed past them. Glasses have been seen moving along the shelves on their own and sometimes smashing to the floor some distance away. A figure described as a priest is said to wander the pub and a little girl called Gertrude who was killed in the yard which was once used to slaughter cattle. She got trampled to death by a rampaging bull but if you should happen to meet with her spirit, she apparently likes to be called Gertie.
A flight of old steps in the same yard leads to the churchyard of St Lawrence’s Church. Mainly in the evenings the apparition of an old lady in a long dress has been seen passing through the churchyard from the direction of the old rectory. When she reaches the door of St Lawrence’s church she simply fades away into thin air.
The Feathers Hotel, The Bull Ring, Ludlow SY8 1AA
The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow regularly features on lists of outstanding hotels both for its architecture and its ghosts. The Feathers is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts including one relatively recent apparition seen immediately outside. On a number of occasions a young girl in a mini skirt has been seen half walking and half gliding across the road towards the hotel. She glides straight through any parked cars onto the pavement where she promptly disappears.
Staff and guests have witnessed the apparition of a gentleman in Victorian dress walking with his dog between rooms 232 and 233. The man and dog appear to be real until they pass straight through the wall between the two rooms before disappearing. Room 211 appears to be home to a jealous female ghost who takes a distinct dislike to women. On one occasion a female guest’s hair was pulled so violently she was almost dragged out of bed. Gentleman generally fare better however, as they are likely to feel a gentle caress on their face if she takes a fancy to them!
Sounds like children running along the corridors and clapping or tapping are often heard by staff and guests alike. Nothing unusual in that for a family hotel except children are not normally running around playing in the very early hours of the morning when everyone else is trying to sleep.
Castle Lodge, Castle Square, Ludlow SY8 1AY
Castle Lodge is a prominent Grade II listed Tudor house situated right in the centre of historic Ludlow. It is reputedly a former home of Catherine of Aragon at the time she was widowed by the death of Prince Arthur. In later years Catherine was to marry Arthur’s brother, Henry VIII. The young Catherine may have found some happiness in Ludlow which could be why her ghost is said to haunt the upper floors of the lodge. Her apparition has been seen dressed in ornate Tudor clothing skipping and running along the upper corridor before disappearing through what is now a wall.
Visitors to the Castle Lodge report all sorts of strange experiences especially on the upper floor around the oddly shaped room at the end of the landing leading from the stairs. Cold spots are common as is the feeling of not quite being alone even if no-one else is up there. Sometimes footsteps are heard walking across the empty rooms. If you have the opportunity to visit Castle Lodge which is open to the public, be sure to try and spend some time on that upper floor. You never know what you may experience there.
Blue Boar Inn, 52 Mill St, Ludlow SY8 1BB
The Blue Boar Inn is a Grade II listed traditional pub situated in the centre of Ludlow. The inn has long been associated with a veritable procession of ghosts inhabiting the building. Best known of these is an officer connected with nearby Ludlow Castle. He is said to be seen wearing a blue tunic with shiny silver buttons. Each floor of the Blue Boar seems to be haunted by a different apparition with a lady in Victorian dress and a man smoking a pipe inhabiting the upstairs rooms.
Strange things often happen in the bar area. Mischievous poltergeist activity is often experienced there. If you visit this particular pub keep an eye on the clock near the front door. The hands have been known to speed up during episodes of paranormal activity. Indeed, the front door itself which isn’t supposed to open inwards will do so at times as if to allow an unseen presence to enter. Keep an eye on your pint glass though in case it gets tipped over by some invisible hand!
Ludlow Castle is an imposing ruin situated right in the town of Ludlow itself. The castle is said to be haunted by one Marion de Bruyere who resided there during the turbulent times of the 12th century. During a skirmish with Gilbert de Lacy’s men Arnold de Lys was captured and held in the same tower as Marion had her apartments. Marion fell in love with Arnold and helped him to escape from the castle. The lovers continued to meet and Arnold would climb up Pendover Tower using a rope ladder thrown down for him by Marion. On one such assignation Arnold deliberately left the ladder hanging down the tower so that Gilbert de Lacy’s men could climb up and siege the castle. Marion realised too late what she had unwittingly done and killed her lover by seizing Arnold’s sword and plunging it deep into his body. The distraught Marion then leapt to her own death from the top of the Pendover Tower. Her ghost is said to be seen wandering around the base of the tower or sometimes re-enacting her tragic death by plunging from the top of the tower.
ANDREW HOMER has written two books on hauntings in both the Black Country and Shropshire. He has also contributed to many publications and has presented lectures for the FT Unconvention, ASSAP and The Ghost Club. He has played a key role in numerous notable investigations over many years of anomaly research and has appeared on radio and television programmes. Andrew has investigated reported anomalous phenomena in just about every type of location including castles, stately homes, private houses and haunted hostelries.
Discover Andrew’s books and Android phone app on his website at www.andrewhomer.co.uk