The Chough Hotel
Hotel named after a famous Crow-type of Cornish bird. No one knows exactly when the hostelry was built but it’s believed to date back to the mid-1600s, as there is a fireplace which bears the date of 1644.
A disastrous fire swept through the area in 1578 but the building survived. In 1685 when Somerset was traumatised by the Rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth, King James II responded quickly and a battle was fought nearby. The rebels were defeated and slaughtered, Monmouth was captured, tried and beheaded despite his pleas for mercy.
Monmouth supporters were then hunted through the West Country by Judge Jeffreys and Colonel Percy Kirke who carried out executions of anyone suspected of complicity. Kirke hanged people without trials, while Jeffreys managed to hold trials before hanging the rebels on the tree called ‘Hanging Cross’. He once stayed at the hotel, and was responsible for the deaths of more than 300. He is a hated figure in Somerset.
A pub regular once claimed that he’d seen the ghost of nasty old man crouched by the fireplace. This is widely believed to be Jeffreys.
A “shadowy” figure has been spotted in the corridor
Built into the wall by the fireplace is a gravestone. No one ever manages to take a 35mm flash photograph of it.
In the 1890s a sealed room was discovered and opened up. Today it forms part of the bar but the area is considered very haunted..
Coughing noises have been inexplicably heard here, and glasses have flown off the bar but not broken.
First broadcast: 26th October 2004