RICK HALE reveals how Stroud’s Ragged Cot Inn became haunted in Gloucestershire
Ragged Cot Inn
Cirencester Road, Stroud GL6 8PE
For centuries traveling the English countryside by night was a risky proposition.
Many unlucky souls found themselves relieved of their money when notorious thieves called highwaymen jumped from the shadows and declared, “your money or your life.”
One of these highwaymen, Bill Clavers, in one night destroyed his life when the monster of greed overcame his good sense.
Resulting in the haunting of the popular hotel, the Ragged Cot Inn.
Ragged Cot Inn’s Tragic History
Located near the ancient market town of Minchinhampton, birthplace of novelist, Joanna Trollope, the Ragged Cot Inn was built in the 17th century.
The Inn has managed to remain one of the few independently owned hotels in the United Kingdom.
What truly sets this charming Inn apart from many others are the ghosts bourne from a night of tragedy and a terrible mistake.
Tragic Mistake Leads To A Haunting
According to local legend, in 1700, Bill Clavers, a former landlord decided to rob the midnight stagecoach on its way to London.
Perhaps due to a lack of courage, Clavers, drank a bottle of rum and stumbled towards the stairs with pistols in hand.
What he didn’t expect was his wife blocking his way while holding their sleeping infant in her arms.
They argued for several minutes, his wife trying to dissuade him from making a terrible mistake that could cost him his freedom and potentially his life.
Bill was determined to rob the stagecoach and shoved his wife and child out of his way.
Clavers jumped on his horse and rode off into the night to meet the approaching stagecoach.
What he didn’t realize as he stumbled out the door, was that he had made a horrible mistake.
When he returned home, Clavers discovered the broken bodies of his wife and child laying dead at the bottom of the stairs.
Bill Clavers realized that in his drunken state, he accidentally killed his family when he shoved them out of the way.
Remorseful over what he had done, Clavers, placed their bodies in a large trunk until he could give them a proper burial.
Little did Bill Clavers know, but the law was hot on his trail and closing in fast.
Local constables who were investigating the robbery followed Clavers’ footprints back to the hotel.
When they arrived, they were confronted by a peculiar sight. The apparition of Bill Clavers’ wife blocked the entrance to the door warning them off.
When the constables returned the next morning, they discovered Bill’s wife and infant daughter laying in a heap at the bottom of the stairs.
Following a swift trial, Bill Clavers, was led to the gallows and was sent to his final reward.
Unexplained noises around Ragged Cot Inn
Since that time, guests and staff have reported hearing unexplained noises around the Inn. The tumult of a struggle has been heard near the stairs followed by the sound of a body falling.
The sounds are believed to be the bodies of Bill Clavers’ wife and child tumbling into eternity.
The sounds may be unnerving to hear, but the apparitions of Bill Clavers, and his wife have been witnessed wandering the halls of The Ragged Cot Inn.
If you want to shop the market town of Minchinhampton, and need a place to stay, The Ragged Cot Inn would be your best choice.
The Ragged Cot offers modern day amenities and comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.
They also offer the ghosts of its tragic past that could have easily been avoided.
If you’ve stayed at the Ragged Cot Inn, we invite you to tell your ghostly experience in the comment section.
My husband stayed here a few years ago! He woke in the night feeling that someone was sitting on his legs! He looked up and there was s man at the bottom of the bed in old fashioned clothing just looking at him! In his panic he made the sign of s cross and he disappeared! He checked all round the room and under the bed, then went back to sleep! Not the type to look for ghosts!
Wow Jean, that sounds incredible – horrifying and cool at the same time – What room was it do you remember?
Myself and my partner are currently staying here, we are in room 7 which is the first room at the the top of the stairs, not seen any aperitions yer however there was creaking from the staircase area about 02.40 am this morning
Like someone was coming up the stairs and stopped at the top, the steps never came past our room door as I would have expected.
Mark, interesting! Keep us informed on how the rest of your stay goes.