Three Crowns Hotel Dartmoor And Its Cavalier Ghost


The Three Crowns Hotel in Devon is a charming haunted house, the perfect place for a spooky stay, says RICK HALE

Three Crowns Hotel in Chagford, Devon

The Three Crowns Hotel is a Grade II listed historic hotel located in the charming town of Chagford, Dartmoor, along the River Teign.

The 13th-century hotel is almost as old as the town of Chagford. Not only does the Three Crowns Hotel gives the guest a unique glimpse into 13th-century life.

A very active warrior-poet haunts the five-star hotel.

History of Three Crowns Hotel

The area surrounding the hotel has shown evidence of a bronze age settlement dating back 4000 years. The hotel was originally called Whyddon House.

In 1642, King Charles I raised the royal standard and ordered his troops and supporters to seek out any parliamentary soldiers and the Civil War began.

I’m February 1643, a platoon of Roundheads stopped in Chagford to get some much-needed rest at Whyddon House.

Unwittingly, the Roundheads walked right into a trap, as Royalist soldiers waited for their hated enemy to awaken and leave the safe confines of Whyddon House.

A fierce battle broke out just outside the building as the two sides traded gunfire. Balls of hot lead whizzed about.

The opposing sides were locked in mortal combat as the skirmish focused on the building’s stone porch.

Numerous men perished that day. However, only one appeared to stay long after he was cut down in the prime of his life.

Haunting Of Three Crowns Hotel

Considering this elegant hotel was once the scene of a deadly battle, one might expect it to be crawling with the souls of the men who lost their lives there.

This, nevertheless, is not the case with the haunting of Three Crowns Hotel. Only one ghost is said to forever walk its halls and corridors. This is a ghost who is the very definition of what it means to be a lover, not a fighter.

The Chagford Cavalier

According to historians, Sydney Godolphin was shot on the stone porch of the hotel.

Godolphin, an MP for Helston and a writer of romantic poetry, reportedly was hit by enemy fire in his rump.

Infection quickly set in and Sydney Godolphin, the warrior poet, died the very next morning.

The young cavalier was remembered fondly by his peers, and his commanding officer remarked saying of Godolphin, “As an absolute piece of virtue as ever our nation bred.”

It would seem that being remembered with such reverence, Godolphin has remained where he was cut down in the prime of his life.

The apparition of a man dressed in flamboyant garb of a cavalier has been spied standing on the front porch.

It is said that when you see the valiant ghost of Godolphin, he smiles from ear to ear and vanishes.

The ghost of Sydney Godolphin, or the Chagford Cavalier, as he is called, does not limit his appearance to the porch.

He has been seen walking the halls of the hotel. And he occasionally and unintentionally startles guests when they enter their rooms.

The Chagford Cavalier has come to be a much loved and integral part of the charm of the Three Crowns Hotel.

What The Hotel Offers

The Three Crowns Hotel in Chagford, Dartmoor is an elegant five-star hotel set in a lovely 13th-century country manor.

The hotel has 21 en-suite rooms that blend the old and the new.

The Three Crowns Hotel restaurant has an extensive menu sure to please even the most discerning diner. And all items on the menu are locally sourced.

Out and About

The stunning Dartmoor countryside surrounds the Three Crowns Hotel and the town of Chagford.

Meldon Hill is located nearby and offers a picturesque panoramic view of the area.

If shopping is on your agenda, Chagford is home to several shops and boutiques.

Lastly, Drogo Castle – the last castle built in England – is located a couple of miles away and is open for tours.

If you have stayed at Three Crowns Hotel and encountered the Chagford Cavalier, we invite you to tell us about it in the comment section.


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