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The White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden
The reputedly haunted 16th century White Swan Hotel can be found on High Street in Henley-in-Arden. Built on the site of an earlier Inn which dated 1352, the present White Swan was built around 1550.
It has been suggested that the White Swan inspired the following lines by the poet William Shenstone (Born 18 November 1714 – Died 11 February 1763) with the visit of Johnson and Boswell in 1776; “Whoever has travelled life’s dull round, Wherever his stages may have been, May sigh to think he still has found, The warmest welcome at an inn.” However in ‘A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3: Barlichway hundred’ (1945) this tradition is said to be groundless.
The White Swan’s website gives the following details about their haunting. ‘The local Court was held at the Inn from 1845 to 1903. Then, the Courtyard of The White Swan was used for public hangings and a lady ghost was said to linger for some years following her execution for murder. Another of the Inn’s famous ghosts is that of an 18 year old lady of the night named Virginia Black. She was said to have died after falling down the stairs during a quarrel with a gentleman in 1845. Virginia used to haunt the corridor outside bedroom 17 but guests need not fear as she has not been seen in recent years!’
Note: The late British actor Michael Elphick (19 September 1946 – 7 September 2002) was one of the landlords at of the White Swan.