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Press release / Mystery of inn’s ghostly regulars to be investigated

Press release issued for the Inn at Freshford, a Somerset country pub just outside Bath

A PUBLIC house outside Bath has been contacted by a paranormal society keen to investigate its ghostly inhabitants

Owners of the Inn at Freshford received a letter from the group following reports of the establishment’s unusual sightings.

Photo taken as Marc tells Louise about the nightly thudding he hears in the bar area[/caption]

“For a long time regulars have reported seeing the apparition of a middle-aged man, who is often followed by a woman and a child” commented Louise Cooper, who took over the running of the pub with Marc Hicks earlier this year.

The identity of the figures is unknown, but those who have seen them describe them as being dressed in Victorian clothing.

“We do know that that a notorious local highwayman, Jack Jones, was arrested by the landlord of the inn in 1784.   He was later executed in Ilchester.  I wonder if he has any involvement in the appearances people have reported.”

The two new owners live above the pub and at night Mr Hicks, the chef, regularly hears unexplained thuds downstairs in the bar area. Other sightings and odd experiences have also been reported in the cellar.

The history of the 16th century inn is believed to have included several changes of use; at one time the building was split into a butchery, bakery, public house and shop.   Where the kitchen now stands provided former residence to a coffin maker, alongside space for a mortuary.   Today, the baker’s bread oven can still be seen in the bar area and the original mortuary slab still remains, serving less macabre and more practical use as a building block.

According to Dr Alan Dodge, local historian and author of Freshford – The History of a Somerset Village, the date of the first inn on the current site is not known, but is thought to predate the Reformation in the early 16th century.   Before the building of a bridge across the River Avon at Limpley Stoke, the inn provided a travellers’ rest on the route from Bath to Salisbury and Winchester.

Louise added:

“I’m keen to follow up with the paranormal society and find out what a visit from them would unearth – especially with Halloween just around the corner.

“We are launching our new menu for autumn and winter this weekend, so I hope the ghostly interest doesn’t frighten anyone off!”

The family-owned and run Inn at Freshford features real ales from the Box Steam Brewery and this weekend will introduce its new seasonal menu featuring regionally-produced produce and local game.

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