The Skirrid Mountain Inn
Mountain Inn is said to be the oldest inn in Wales... as well as the most haunted. Signposted off the A465 north of Abergavenny, The Skirrid Inn is the
oldest public house within the borders of the Principality of Wales, with a history that can be traced back beyond the Norman
Conquest. Owain Glyndwr is said to have marshalled his troops in
the cobbled courtyard before his march on Pontrilas. The
mounting stone on to which he climbed is thought to have been used by many of the succeeding Princes of Wales and Kings of
England; it can still be seen in the courtyard.
reference to the Skirrid comes in 1110, when a court was
convened to try two brothers, James Crowther for robbery with violence, and John
Crowther for sheep-stealing. James was sentenced to nine months in prison, but John
Crowther was hanged here on an interior beam for the crime of sheep stealing. Over
the next 800 years, 182 criminals were hung in the area of the stairwell. A hanging beam, with scorch and drag marks still visible, is a chilling reminder of the harshness of medieval justice.
figures have been witnessed sihouetted against windows, the ghost of a one-eyed convict haunts one of the bathrooms, glasses
have fallen for no apparant reason, an unseen female presence who is said to have died from consumption makes her presence
known, and visitors have felt the sensation of being slowly strangled, as if an invisible noose had been placed around their
necks. Hardly surprising when you consider that the infamous Judge Jeffries held
court sessions here! After all, it is said that over 180 people were hung from
the rafters over the centuries...
Court is an historic 15th Century Tudor Manor with landscaped gardens. The house contains fine 17th Century panelling
and plaster ceilings, with an important oak staircase, stables and large barn. Among other historic associations, it was a
reputed hideaway for Charles 1 during the Civil War.
It is open
to the general public by appointment with the owner, Mrs Julia Johnson. Please telephone (01873) 890217. Costs for entry and
guide is: Adults £4.00, Children £2.50 and Concessions £2.50.
times 2004: 30th April - 4th May, 28th May - 1st June & 16th - 30th August.
house of Llanfihangel Court is home to the ghostly white lady, a man dressed in an old fashioned coat and breeches walks the
grounds, and two swordsmen fight a duel to the death at the top of the staircase.
The Haunted Pool
of another White Lady is said to haunt a pool in the village. The apparition is said to rise from the waters at dusk, and
is an omen that there will soon be a death in the neigbourhood.
(2004) Haunted Inns of Britain and Ireland, New Holland Publishers, London.
Alan (19) The Ghosts of Gwent, Handpost Books, Gwent.
Peter (1978) Ghosts of Wales, Corgi, Great Britain.