The Four Crosses
 

The Ghosts of The Four Crosses

 

Unsurprisingly, given it's 400 year history as a coaching inn, The Four Crosses has an array of reported paranormal activity. Just imagine the hundreds of people who have passed through it's doors and slept in the beds, not to mention the accidents and deaths that have occurred, or the highwaymen who frequented the inn. How many remain, supping tankards at the bar, or pacing the creaky floorboards contemplating their journey ahead? The lives and troubles of so many people have touched this building in some way, and it sounds as though several are still there. 

Experiences have been reported by both staff and visitors alike. Glasses smash on their own, unexplained footsteps are heard and shadowy figures have been seen throughout the building. Glasses fly off the shelves of their own accord and items move themselves around the bar area. Other sounds heard are disembodied voices and crying children. The ladies toilets is an apparent hotspot for activity in particular. Previous managers claim that a fire ignited spontaneously in the middle of the night, luckily in the fireplace!

Many spirits have been felt by mediums, or seen by unsuspecting witnesses, including dogs! A Roundhead soldier has been seen, apparently in the mens toilets. A teenage girl was witnessed by a member of staff one afternoon. She had scruffy hair and tatty clothes. Her feet were bare and after watching the member of staff for a few seconds, she turned silently and walked through a wall. On rainy evenings, a man has been seen standing in the car park adorned in a long, dark cloak. He is said to stand and stare at the building. A 19th Century drunk named Charlie, a middle aged woman, and a young boy called Scotty have also been reported.

The History of The Four Crosses

 

Built in 1636 on a Roman road, The Four Crosses was a popular coaching inn, especially in the 1800s. It was on the main route from London to Holyhead, so would have received thousands of travelling visitors throughout it's history. 

It is partly constructed from old shipping timbers, dating back hundreds of years further than the building itself. Do these carry their own residual energies? Extensions were made to the building in the 18th Century, and restorations took place in 1926 and 2004. A hidden oak door was discovered in 1950 in a wall behind a thin layer of plaster. The door was carved with the date 1638. This has fuelled beliefs of hidden passageways under the pub.

The inn was once owned by Lord Hatherton's father, Moreton Walhouse. From him, it remained in the Hatherton family until 1950 when it was sold to Bank's Brewery. It was managed for over two hundred years by the Lovatt family. The 1871 census shows that the innkeeper George Lovatt was married to Elizabeth and had two children Emma and George. They also had two servant girls by the name of Emily Anjell and Murtha Barrett.

Visitors of the inn are said to have included the infamous highway man Dick Turpin (see image), and Irish poet Jonathan Swift. Swift allegedly had a dispute with the landlord's wife and in his frustration, he etched a window pane with his diamond ring. It is believed to have read something along the lines of 

'Thy fool, to hang four crosses at the door! 

Hang up thy wife! There needs not any more'

The window pane, unfortunately, no longer remains.

It is believed that many deaths have occurred on the premises in it's history. People have allegedly been killed on the busy road when leaving the pub from the front door. The most recently recorded death was in 1980 when a young boy ran from the pub and was hit by a passing vehicle and killed. The door is no longer in use and visitors now enter and leave the building from a door at the back. A baby is said to have died upstairs after falling from a table in the 1800s and many suicides have also apparently taken place. I have been unable to find any evidence of these deaths. Of course, that is not to say they didn't happen!