Smithfield haled a fairly prominent place in medieval London. Not only was it the site of a famous market and a place where Royalty held their tournaments, the Elms at Smithfield was also well known as a place of execution and it is thought that some of those who were cruelly killed at this spot may haunt it still.
Specific Location: Smithfield
The sale of meat at Smithfield can be traced back over 800 years and in the 17th century an apparition of a horned figure reputedly terrorized the area leaping over the butchers stalls. When some of the butchers hit the figure with their cleavers and knives the blades apparently they passed straight through him without leaving a wound.
The Old Red Cow (or Ye Olde Red Cow as it was known) is considered to be one of Smithfield’s oldest pubs, though its current building dates from 1854. It is said that the apparition of a former landlord, sometimes referred to as Dick O’Shea, was seen in the year following his death (1981) sitting watching customers from an upstairs balcony.
Founded in 1123 by Rahere, a jester/minstrel in the court of King Henry I (1068 – 1 December 1135), making this one of the oldest churches in London. Originally established as an Augustinian Priory Church, its nave was demolished in 1539 when King Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monastery’s.