Graded locations

Listed buildings are graded in each location in this blog. Eg. Grade I, II* II of grade I is of most importance. Grade A relates to Scotland. See BLB

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Royal & Ancient Pub, Colne Bridge near Huddersfield

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Sat on what was once the busy main thoroughfare between Barnsley and London, The Royal and Ancient now nestles off the beaten track, amid the dark satanic mills of Huddersfield. It is these same mills that give colour to the background of this pub.

In January 1818 there was a catastrophic fire at the local Atkinsons Mill, in which 18 children aged 9-18 lost their lives. It is said that the shift supervisor had locked the girls in, as was common practice, and that working in the cold dark conditions, a candle had been dropped into a basket of wool. The charred and horribly disfigured bodies were laid out in the cold cellar of this pub, which served as a temporary mortuary until the bodies could be interred at the nearby Kirkheaton cemetary. It is thought that the restless souls of these children now play mischief on visitors to the pub. The fire was instrumental in the introduction of The Factory Act, and standard working hours enforceable by law.

Incidents experienced by customers and residents have included trays of glasses shattering, light fixtures being torn from the walls, and furniture being moved around the bar. Members of staff have been afraid to work alone in the kitchen, the beer cellars or to use the ladies toilets where the hand dryer seems to have a life of its own.

In October 2004 a local ghost research group held an all night vigil at the pub, and though the night was largely uneventful, one member of the group suffered vicious scratches to his neck in the cellar from the malevolent "Mr Black", thought to be a large aggressive former landlord who beat and mistreated his staff, and who was potentially involved with highwaymen. The same malevolent force was thought to unsuccessfully attempt to possess another member of the group.

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