The 'Carps' and the Ghosts

Albie is lucky enough to live, in what is known as ‘Robin Hood Country’-Nottinghamshire. He has recently provided some stunning pictures of Sherwood Forest which were very popular with my readers. This time Albie has very kindly sent in a fascinating history of two of his local taverns in the Nottinghamshire village of Walesby, The Carpenters Arms and The Red Lion.

"The old and new pictures show the Carpenters Arms public house in Walesby. The older picture was taken in the early years of the 20th century and was copied from one of a series of post cards popular in that era. The pub was built in 1830 and is currently owned by the Everard’s brewery of Leicester. The interior has been re-styled over the years with the accommodation for the landlord now being upstairs, previously being downstairs around the current fireplace on the right of the building.

The man standing at the top of the stairs was possibly the landlord at the time. The cottage to the right (furthest cottage) was the original Methodist chapel in the village. It is known that the son of the founder of Methodism, Charles Wesley, preached there, and possibly Charles himself. The chapel now forms part of the house living area. The house in the right foreground is of a similar date (1770’s) or slightly later. Behind the pub, but obscured by it, near the top of the hill was the bakery which is also from the same era.

As can be seen by the new photo the cottage in the middle of what is now the road from Ollerton to Retford, is gone, and the road goes over its foundations. The building was demolished in the late 1950’s or early 60’s and residents can still remember it well. The signpost can be seen in both old & new photo’s and indicates that Perlethorpe is 2.5 miles down Brake Road and Budby some 4 miles distant. This road leads due-west past Boughton Brake and onwards to the A614 which is 2 miles away. Directly across this road on the A614 a minor road passes through Thoresby Hall land and onwards to Budby, Perlethorpe being near to the Hall and effectively is the estate village for it. The sign that is seen in the new photos is the original one; it was renovated by Walesby Parish Council around 2002.

The Carpenters is not the only pub in the village, the other being the Red Lion situated 400 yards down Main Street, which starts where the now demolished cottage is to the left of the pictures. The Lion has a large portion of the building dating to some 400 years ago and is near the heart of the old village.

Although only 180 years old at the time of writing, the Carps (as it is known locally) main claim to fame is its resident ghosts. The most seen one is that of the Grey Lady. She has been seen by many people (including this author!) and wears a Victorian style bonnet and long dress. Often seen upstairs in the landlords apartment, she has also been seen by regulars in the bar area. It is unknown who she was but is a ‘friendly’ ghost. A second ‘visitor’ is a gentleman wearing tweed clothing with a red complexion. He is thought to be a former landlord who was accidentally killed when a shot gun went off in his kitchen area, in front of the fireplace in the current bar area. This happened in 1947.

A third reported ghost is to be found in the cellar situated below the steps where the landlord stands in the old picture. The cellar is low, cramped and eerie as there is no natural light. A rumour persists that a previous landlord hung himself down there but no proof of this exists. The stories could have more to do with the fact the pub is built on an old crossroads. In medieval times, criminals were hanged and executed at crossroads outside of inhabited areas (the old village centre being 400 yards away at that time). Once dead, the bodies would be buried at the crossroad so their spirits would not know which way to wander and hence enter the village to haunt the locals! It is likely this crossroad was used for such purposes in the distant past.

Another legend of a 4th spectre is that of the White Lady. She reputedly walks from Rufford Abbey into Edwinstowe. There she turns right and heads towards the current junction of the A614 and the A616 Sheffield – Newark road and onwards to the carps at Walesby. She then turns back to return to Rufford, thus completing a triangle of around 12 miles distance in total. Theory is she was a lover of a monk from the Abbey (dissolved with the other entire Abbeys by Henry VIII in the 1540’s). Why she would come from Edwinstowe to Walesby is confusing but when the Abbey was shut down by Henry, one of the monks from there became the vicar of St Edmunds Church in Walesby. No one has seen this ghost for a number of years.”

I recently asked Albie where he saw ‘The White Lady?’

“I saw the  ghost whilst sitting at the bar one evening. I'd only just sat down and when I looked up something caught my eye. This grey figure glided from the right of the bar from the eating area and dissolved by the front door. I have also seen another figure sat on one of the bench seats inside which stayed a few moments before fading away. A number of times items on the back of the bar have either moved or flown across the serving area - a pen did so when I was there when no one was stood anywhere near the bar. Nothing malevolent, just strange things and I can add that a previous landlord saw the ‘Grey Lady’ and ‘Tweed Man’ standing at the foot of the accommodation stairs together. His father also the Grey Lady but never said anything about. When he did (rather sheepishly) his son said, 'yeah many have see it, you are not on your own'.

Terry (father) was a university lecturer so a fairly sober and learned man. Take this one with a pinch of salt, the current landlords partner (who is from Thailand) has both seen and talked to the Grey Lady. She apparently came and sat down at the end of her bed and talked with his partner.

Not so sure how valid the last story is (though Neil, our current mine host says it is true and he is not one for telling tall stories) but the others are!”

Albie-May 2010

Albie has very kindly sent in more details about the local history and countryside around Sherwood and Nottinghamshire, which I will post very soon.


Clement of the Glen said...


The 'Carps' and the Ghosts


The Whistling Arrows

Avalon said...

I loved this! True ghost tales make my spine tingle! The pictures are fantastic; makes me so really bad desire to visit the ruins of my favorite hero.

Albie said...

Glad you liked it Avalon. I have sent Clement some stuff which includes a 'haunting ruin' rather than haunted. If you like ghost stories I will try gather some of the ones associated around Sherwood and send them to Clement.

The Black Abbot of Rufford Abbey is but one ghost I could relate to the Whistling Arrows... ;o)

Avalon said...

Oh yes Albie, more ghost stories. Thank you!