The Highwayman Inn
 

The Ghosts of The Highwayman Inn

 

There are a several reported hauntings at The Highwayman. The most recognised seems to be the spirit of 'Sam'. He is a man dressed in green with a feather in his cap. A medium picked up on a a spirit names Samuel who had  been in a battle. He had apparently died at the age of 36 and is unable to leave the inn. Interestingly, at an earlier time, a young girl claimed to have had a conversation with a man dressed in strange clothes called Sam. 

Pay attention to the door that leads you into the Rita Jones Galleon Room. This door belonged to the ill-fated whaling ship, The Diana. In 1866, in an expedition to Baffin Bay on the southwest coast of Greenland, the ship became stuck in ice for over six months. During this time, the ship's captain John Gravill and many of the crew lost their lives. The ship finally made it back to the Shetland Islands. Diana sailed her last journey in 1868 when in strong winds, was washed against rocks in Lincolnshire and wrecked. The Galleon Room has many claims of paranormal activity, with objects being moved and unusual lights seen. Perhaps Captain Gravill and his crew feel at home in this nautical drinkery. 

Buster and Rita's daughter Sally is now the current landlady and owner, along with her husband Bruce. I asked Sally if she had experienced anything supernatural at the inn. She said the only encounters she has experienced are that which she believes to be her father. The unmistakable aroma of her father's 'Churchill's' cigars can often be smelled. She goes on to say, "Also, my father was a stickler for locking the front door at 10.30 precisely to stop stragglers from coming in and then not being able to close up. Every now and again, the main interior door opens by itself at that time and closes and I am sure my father is seeing if I am closing on time. I'm afraid he will be disappointed as I stay open until much later these days."

Other spirits reported to be in residence are a woman in a mop cap and a man who sits at the bar named Joseph. There has also been suggestion of a captain named 'Grenville', perhaps this is Gravill after all……

The History of The Highwayman Inn

 

I find it hard to describe The Highwayman Inn, you really have to see it to believe it. It has an air of magic and mystery to it, leaving you feeling slightly like Alice down the rabbit hole! 

Driving along the edge of Dartmoor National Park with the rain driving down, The Highwayman Inn is a welcome sight amongst the bleakness of the open moor. Pulling up outside, you are unsure what to expect when greeted by a larger-than-life wall mounted highwayman, adorned with pistol and tricorn. In the place of the front door lies an old horse drawn coach. Where else to go but to step inside! Once inside the carriage, still complete with original seats and lanterns and padded walls, you step through another door and into The Highwayman Inn. 

The building has been on the site since 1282 and has always been used as an inn. The structure has changed very little, original photos can bee see at thehighwaymaninn.net 

It has had various names over the time, The Golden Fleece and The New Inn. However it was Buster Jones and his wife Rita, who made The Highwayman what it is today. 

They moved to the pub in 1959 from Wales and began work on the transformation, which was to continue over the next forty years or more. Swept up with the atmosphere and history of the surroundings, the name 'The Highwayman Inn' was born. Much to the amusement of the locals, the pair transformed the old pub into the wonder we see today. Artefacts were collected and local resources used to build what has been described as 'the most unusual pub in Britain'. The stagecoach is the old Launceston to Tavistock carriage, still boasting the original colours. Slabs of tree trunks provide handsome bar tops and the entire inn glitters with coins, in cracks in the floor, wedged into beams and left as an offering to the fairy folk.