The Royal Standard of England, Beaconsfield
Originally known as The Ship and dating from 1213, The Royal Standard of England on Brindle Lane, Beaconsfield is thought to be the oldest Free House in England and is reputedly haunted by two ghosts.
The Inn has been known as The Royal Standard of England since 1663 when the restored monarch King Charles II (Born 29 May 1630 – Died 6 February 1685) allowed its name to change as a reward as the building had offered his fathers supporters a safe haven during the English Civil War. King Charles II is thought to have stayed at The Royal Standard of England with one of his mistresses.
Sounds of a beating drum have said to have been heard in the car park and this is thought to be the ghost of a young drummer serving with the Royalists during the English Civil War. According the Royal Standard of England’s website, ‘The pub was used as a mustering place for the Royalists. King Charles I had raised his personal standard to draw his royalist supporters – The Cavaliers- to fight for his cause against the Parliamentarians –The Roundheads. The pub had connections with Irish catholic adventurers coming over to fight for the royal Stuart cause. In November 1642 they were part of a Cavalier army led by the dashing Prince Rupert who captured Brentford. The following day they were turned back at Turnham Green by the greater Roundhead army. The pub came under the Parliamentarian control and suffered the brutality of the soldiers with a dozen cavaliers having their heads raised up on pikes outside the door, including a 12 year old Drummer boy. His ghost still haunts the pub today.’
Bar Room Figure
Again their website gives the background and thoughts surrounding the second ghost which is seen to walk through walls. ‘There are two interpretations on the ghost in the bar – a shadowy male figure strides across the bar and then disappears in the wall next to Edmund Burkes old fireplace in the Candle Room. The first is that it is reputed to be one of the executed cavaliers. The second version is that of a traveller accidentally killed by the notorious Earl of Barrymore* in 1788. Barrymore belonged to a club called the Four Horse Club where the young wild regency bucks would bribe any coachman to give them the reins and drive at breakneck speed. The traveller was crushed outside the pub by a speeding coach and four. The bloody corpse was brought into the pub and the landlord was paid hush-money over the incident, and an unknown traveller has been haunting the downstairs ever since.’
I have also come across a reference on the Paranormal Database of a ghostly woman in the lady’s restroom.
*Richard Barry, 7th Earl of Barrymore (Born 1769- Died 1793) known as the Rake of Rakes and Hellgate, was one of the founders of the Four-Horse Club along with Henry Charles Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort,Marquess of Worcester (Born 22 December 1766 – Died 23 November 1835), William Philip Molyneux 2nd Earl of Sefton (Born 1772 – Died 1838), Sir John Lade, 2nd Baronet (Born 1 August 1759 – Died 10 February 1838) and Colonel Berkeley. On 6 March 1793 whilst serving as a Lieutenant with the Royal Berkshire Militia, Richard Barry died when a loaded gun on a carriage seat accidentally discharged and shot him through the eye. The accident occurred whilst escorting sixteen French prisoners of war between Folkestone and Dover.
Ghosts aside, visitors to the The Royal Standard of England may be lucky enough to see a display of Morris Dancing especially on May Day.