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The Ostrich Inn

The present pub dating from the 15th century stands on the site of an earlier Inn, in which King John is said to have quaffed ale on his way to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.

The Ostrich Inn has a more macabre tale related to the unscrupulous murder of wealthy guests. During the Middle ages a couple called the Jarmans owned the pub. When a wealthy guest arrived at the Inn they were shown to a special room, the bed of which stood on a trap door connected to the kitchen below.

When the guest had retired for the night and was sound asleep, one of the Jarmans would pull a secret lever and the occupant of the bed would drop into a boiling vat of ale positioned under the bed in the kitchen.

Their dark deeds caught up with them when the horse of a guest called Thomas Cole was found wandering the village. A lame story was given by the Jarmans as reason for his disappearance and when his body was later found in the stream the Jarmans were arrested.

The Jarmans were both hanged for their crimes, and admitted murdering about 60 people. The local stream, Coln Brook is said to have been named after 'Cole in the brook'.

There have been recent reports of poltergeist activity at the inn, witnessed by live in staff and customers. The haunting is said to have become more active after the street was disturbed by the council installing speed humps.

Daniel Parkinson

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