Now here’s a book that’s bound to grab my attention: I’m interested in ghosts, I love old pubs and Shropshire is one of my favourite counties.
Shropshire is one of the nearest English counties to my base in North-East Wales and it’s particularly unspoiled, with a varied landscape of patchwork fields that don’t seem to have changed for centuries surrounded by high, bleak hills and moors. There are numerous olde worlde villages tucked away among this delightful scenery, many boasting a wealth of Tudor and medieval buildings.
Not surprising then, that there are also many attractive and historic pubs in Shropshire. What is surprising is that so many of them should be haunted. Andrew Homer has clearly taken the time to visit them all or most of them himself and gain first-hand testimony from landlords, landladies and regulars. There are even a few pubs in Haunted Hostelries of Shropshire I have visited myself, so found these locations especially interesting.
Pubs are at the heart of community life and many are very old. No wonder then that so many have tales attached to them and that ghosts should haunt them so often (even allowing for those landlords who find that making up a ghost proves good for business). The buildings themselves are interesting, a fact Andrew is well aware of, adding another dimension of interest to his well-researched book.
Among the usual pub ghosts – ill defined presences that like to move things about – there are more active poltergeists plus a range of apparitions, including forlorn ladies, monks, highwaymen, mischievous children and animals. It’s a thoroughly good read and contains plenty of new material. It also provides another good excuse to further explore this enchanting county.
Haunted Hostelries of Shropshire by Andrew Homer is published by Amberley and priced £12.99 (ISBN: 978-1-4456-0201-1).