The New Inn, Pembridge, Herefordshire

The New Inn, Pembridge, Herefordshire

With a striking black-and-white timbered exterior, and an interior resplendent with flagstone floors, oak doors with peg latches, and a curved back settle by the fireplace that may well have begun life as part of a circular cockpit, the New Inn boasts an impressive pedigree stretching back almost 700 years.

The New Inn in Pembridge started out as a farmhouse in 1311, which gives it the impressive distinction of being the oldest New Inn in England.

The farmer’s wife began brewing and selling ale to the merchants at the nearby open market; thus began a tradition for hospitality that saw it evolve into a coaching inn that eventually doubled as a courthouse and a prison.

Tradition holds that the 1461 treaty, by which Edward IV ascended the throne of England during the Wars of the Roses, was ratified in the courtroom here.

Inevitably The New Inn is haunted, and it is generally agreed that its ancient walls reverberate to the spectral machinations of two ghosts.

A side view of the New Inn in Pembridge, Worcestershire.

One is a young woman who awaits the return of her lover from some long-ago war. Nobody knows for certain which war, and whether he was killed or simply deserted her is up for debate.

Interestingly, her mournful wraith appears to have had her fill of the fickle nature of the male of the species, since she only ever appears to other women.

Unrelated, though intriguingly coincidental, is the fact that the other spirit is that of a soldier who paces the corridors resplendent in a scarlet tunic, sometimes carrying a sword and at other times beating a drum.

It is not known whether the two phantoms are aware of each other.

One can only hope that the day (or night) will come when their spectral paths will cross, and the roving revenants of the old New Inn will be joined together forever in ghostly union!