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Haunted Hostelries of Shropshire by Andrew Homer
Shropshire is one of those counties within Britain that is like a hidden jewel, once you discover it you'll wonder what took you so long, and how soon can you come back! This new book by Andrew Homer on Haunted Hostelries of Shropshire will certainly help you find somewhere to eat, drink and stay, providing you don't mind sharing a room with a spectral guest or two along the way.
I've been lucky enough to know Andrew for a number of years through his role as National Investigations Co-ordinator within ASSAP, and in this new book (published by Amberley Press) he shows just how good a paranormal researcher and investigator he is. Covering towns and villages within Shropshire, featuring tales including phantom children trapped in a cellar, a ghostly dog, poltergeists, unexplained noises and movement, along with a good mix of folklore and even traditional festivals that take place in the county.
Lionel & Patricia Fanthorpe give a foreward that asks a very important question on why pubs and hotels seem to attract so many accounts of anomalous phenomena and reported encounters. There are many theories out there and perhaps it is up to you to decide as you take a visit to one of the featured locations for a pint!
The book kicks off in an A-Z town format with Albrighton and an 18th century country inn called The Horns of Boningale which has had a number of ghostly encounters including a mischievous spirit called Henry. The Mytton & Mermaid Hotel at Atcham features an anniversary ghost, reputed to be that of Mad Jack Mytton who the hotel is named after.
One of my favourite towns in Shropshire has to be Ludlow, it's a stunning medieval town with fantastic architecture and buildings, so this is one place you would expect to have ghostly activity within it's walls. The Castle Lodge doesn't disappoint either, it has a rich history with links to Catherine of Aragon who lived at the location and her ghost is reputed to haunt the upper floors, cold spots and footsteps have also being reported over the years. It's definitely one of the most atmospheric places you could stay at. As is The Feathers, one of the most renowned buildings within Ludlow, where a number of ghosts have been reported over the years. The ghost of a Victorian gentleman and his dog are sighted along with sounds of children running and other unexplained noises.
The George & Dragon at Much Wenlock is reputed to be one of the most haunted inns within Shropshire, a ghostly dog is noticed, particularly by women in the pub who the dog prefers. During it's life it was badly treated and a female working in the inn used to give the dog water and food. Another presence upstairs in the inn causes people to feel uneasy and a sense of being watched when no-one is there.
Full compliments to Andrew on a well researched and written book, it shows just what a rich tapestry of activity is within Shropshire and given some of the towns long history it's exactly what you would expect to see and read about. I'm pleased that it's not overly dramatic, but gives well written accounts, interviews with witnesses and background information on locations. As a reference book it does tick all my boxes, in that it features an area map, clear content pages and a bibliography at the back.
I'd recommend it for anyone living within or visiting Shropshire. I've never met anyone who doesn't like a good haunted pub and this book is a well researched and good guide to visiting them. Now, who's up for a pint?
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Amberley Publishing (12 Jun 2012)
Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 1.2 cm