We have so many old and wonderful buildings in Herefordshire steeped in history. Many with tales of hauntings. Some of these are connected to old public houses. Where communities would come together and stories and tales would be told, much like today in many ways. Here’s one of our favourites, it involves thieves, vagabonds and murderers.
One such story of supernatural intervention involves the wonderfully characterful 14th century Rhydspence Inn. Located to the west of Hereford on the road to Hay on Wye. Centuries ago ferrymen used to bring travellers and locals across the River Wye. They were well known colourful characters. One night however the ferryman who had been working the crossing from Hay on Wye was set upon and stabbed to death. The pennies that he kept from his fares were also taken. That night the thieves who had enacted such a brutal crime headed to the Rhydspence Inn for the night.
Careful to cover up their misdeeds they hid the jar of pennies in their room away from prying eyes. However just as they settled in for the night it is told that the jar began to violently rattle and shake. The commotion disturbed everyone at the inn, drawing attention to itself and the people who possessed it. The robbers were so shook up and fearful of what might happen next, they confessed to the murder of the ferryman. They were later hanged in Hay on Wye.
These thieves vagabonds and murderers definitely got more than they bargained for that night.
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