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The Brocket Arms, Ayot St Lawrence

This old pub, parts of which date to the 14th Century, was a stop of point for pilgrims on their way to St Albans Abbey. It is not far from Minsden Chapel, which is also haunted. A local legend suggests a tunnel exists from the pub to the Chapel or to the ruined church in the village, which is most likely a memory of the route taken by pilgrims.

The Inn is said to be haunted by a phantom monk, who is small in stature and wears a brown habit. He has been seen several times and also makes his presence felt by strange noises and footsteps. During our visit we were told that one witness staying at the pub saw the monk, who appeared to be on fire, staring at him during the night. He was badly shaken by the encounter.

The main focus for the haunting is the bar area, where traditionally the monk is supposed to have hung himself.

Ayot St Lawrence was also the home of George Bernard Shaw, who is said to haunt his old home.

Ayot St Lawrance can be reached via a series of minor roads from the B651 or B655, to the West of Welwyn and the North of Weathampstead.

Daniel Parkinson

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