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The Feathers Hotel

The Feathers Hotel is a beautiful seventeenth century building with a carved timber façade and a reputation of being haunted. It was originally built for an attorney called Rees Jones in 1619 and the Feathers name relates to the Ostrich Feathers that are part of the design in the exterior wooden façade. Ostrich Feathers appear in the badge for the Prince of Wales and in November 1616 the future Charles I had had just been invested as such (also as earl of Chester). Ludlow was actually regarded as the capital of Wales for over a century.

During the Civil War Royalist’s were billeted in the Feathers as Ludlow remained loyal to the Crown. Ludlow was besieged in 1646 by the Parliamentarian forces of Colonel Birch. Though there was fighting and the outskirts of Ludlow suffered, Ludlow Castle surrendered after negotiation. Thomas Jones (son of Rees Jones) and a Captain in the Royalist forces changed the Feathers from a family home into an inn circa 1670. It became a much loved drinking establishment where you could also watch prize fighting and cock-fighting. During elections, parliamentary candidates would speak from the Feathers balcony to crowns gathering outside.

The Feathers has been enlarged and expanded far beyond the original 1619 house and in 1863 became established as a hotel.

One woman had an unusual experience in Room 211, when a “spirit” dragged out of her bed by her hair. Eventually she got back into bed and fell asleep, only to be awoken as she was drenched in water. Only she was wet, not the bed. Apparently her partner had a rather peaceful sleep feeling the sensation of his cheek being stroked.

In Room 232 both staff and guests have witnessed the apparition of a Victorian man as been walking his dog. They cross the room, pass into Room 233, then vanish.

Mr Ainsley, a commercial traveler had a strange encounter whilst visiting The Feathers in the summer of 1974. He was late for his appointment at the hotel and was finding parking in the unfamiliar town difficult. Eventually he found a parking spot opposite the hotel itself, though he was probably in an agitated state by this time. He crossed over the road and was about to enter the hotel when he realised that he had forgotten something that he left in his car. Turning back to his car he saw a young sixteen year old girl wearing a flimsy blouse and mini skirt walk across the road and pass straight through his car before vanishing. This apparition was seen in full daylight. After entering the hotel he was informed that he was the sixth person to have seen this same ghost. Colin Smith, a local investigator looked into the case and managed to identify the girl as someone who was still living. In 1974 she was staying in Ludlow and often crossed the Bull Ring to visit her aunt who lived near The Feathers.

Image Copyright: 
Alison Topham

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