Skirrid Inn

Located in South Wales, it was built in the 12th century. Over the centuries, the inn has been used for many executions by hanging, as well as acting as a courthouse. Hundreds of people have been hung from the beam under the stairs, and the cell they were kept in before their hanging is now a storage room. Many current visitors to the inn have eerie stories to share, and often report finding welts around their neck, feeling their breathing restricted, and a few have sworn they have seen apparitions. among numerous other events. One woman swears she was held underwater by unseen hands while taking a bath in one room. Visitors and workers of the inn admit to the creepiness of the building, even if they don’t believe in ghosts.

The Skirrid Inn
- Ghosts and Hauntings

- Standing near the foot of the Skirrid Mountain, in the village of Llanfihangel Crucorney, Wales, is the Skirrid (Mountain) Inn. Constructed from oak beams salvaged from ships timbers, much of the original construction is said to be intact, and if so, those constructions are very old indeed.

The earliest history of the Skirrid Inn is not completely known, as records of the Inns existence are patchy at best. However, around about the year 1110 there is record of two men standing trial at a hastily assembled court in a new alehouse called ‘Millbrook’, at the foot of the Skirrid Mountain. If it is the same place, that makes the Skirrid Inn about 900 years old.

The two men who were on trial were brothers – one had been arrested for ‘violent robberies’ the other for sheep stealing. What is most interesting is that it was the sheep stealer who felt the extreme penalty of the law – he was hanged from a beam at the Inn – the other offender received nine months imprisonment.

That execution was far from being the last according to stories; more than 180 people saw their lives ended in the Inns stairwell, hanging from a rope attached to one of the roofs support beams. Even today the rope marks and rope burns can be seen on this beam.

The last hanging took place at the Inn in the mid 1600’s, with that execution also being for the crime of sheep stealing. Once a criminal learned of their fate, they were taken to a holding cell located half way up the stairs from the ground to the first floor. Here they waited for their punishment – a simple act of being bound and walked a few steps to the stairwell visible from their cell door.

This cell is still on site today, however it no longer holds condemned prisoners, but is rather used as a store room.

With 180 plus executions, it is little wonder that the Skirrid Inn has a ghostly reputation.

Most of those who have experienced the paranormal at the Skirrid Inn have been the owners and staff members, those that have utilised the Inn accommodation, or the many paranormal investigation teams and shows who have investigated there.

For those who stay overnight at the Inn one of the most common occurrences is the sensation of being strangled – either waking up to the feeling in the middle of the night, or it slowly building up, starting out feeling dizzy and light headed, and slowly building till the strangulation, hard of breathing and panic sets in.

The unexpected smells of perfume are often encountered, as are moving cold spots accompanied by the sounds of a heavy dress rustling, as if women are moving past.

There have also been several apparitions seen on the property. Although details are mostly hard to make out, many believe at least one of these spectres to be ‘Hanging’ Judge George Jeffries, who is most notorious for the severe punishment of criminals. It is Jeffries who is said to be responsible for a very large portion of the 180 people who were hanged there – as most of them died during his presiding reign. (However many also counteract this saying that he was only a boy when the hangings had stopped at the Inn.)

A working woman at the Inn is also said to be seen going about her business, and making her presence known to anyone who stays overnight in room no.3. She died of consumption at a relatively young age; her ghost still carries out the work she did in life.

Finally, several of those who were hanged at the Inn have also been seen, several psychics learning of these apparitions identities.

Ashley Hall 2013

Picture: The Skirrid Inn by Andy Dolman
Inset Left: Condemned Prisoners Cell
Inset Right: Mock up of the hanging rope.

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Skirrid ~ Black Mountains Abergavenny Wales ~ dailyshoot on Flickr.

I had just walked down from the top of the Skirrid and turned and took this snap, which is why it is slightly out of focus. But it was the colour of the heather on top that caught my eye, and the fact that you can just see little Skirrid in the background. An unusual picture for me seems to be a lot of green. Legend has it that the Skirrid was “split” on the day of the crucifixion……and that the mountain is sacred….