There isn`t that much in the way of specifics when it comes to the history of the Castle Eden Inn. Yes, it used to be a coaching inn with the main inn area and stables which have now become one – the stables becoming a function room – but other than that, little is known.
The History of Castle Eden
To give a slight history of Castle Eden itself – we`ll source the Castle Eden entry from Wikipedia :
During the Danish occupation, the village was known as South Yoden, but following the end of Danish occupation in 960AD, the village took its present name of Castle Eden. Both the Domesday Book, and the Kings Book record Castle Eden as a small village, but make no mention of any castle. In 1764 the Estate of Castle Eden was purchased by Rowland Burdon from William Turner, in which the deeds describe a pathway passing a ruined medieval chapel across a bridge and through the village leading up to the ruined manor and castle. It is commonly considered that this is the area named “The Village” and that the present Parish Church of St. James (Parish of Monk Hesleden) is built on the site of the chapel mentioned. In the 1760s a farm labourer digging out a hedge discovered a fine glass beaker, known as “The Castle Eden Beaker”. It now resides in the British Museum.
Rowland Burdon returned to Estate in 1766 to work on “The Castle” as it became named, adding the present Regency Gothic wing. Sir John Soane, renowned Regency Architect, visited the completed castle on his way from another project. He drafted plans, proposing a potential Neo-Classical remodelling of the structure. Burdon in the end chose not to commission him.
Rowland Burdon, along with the Nimo family, would go on to found what would come to be known as the Castle Eden Brewery. Whilst other families such as the Savilles owned their rope works and bleachery for sail cloth manufacturing, making the village at the start of the 19th century fairly industrious. But as with so many similar sites, as the Victorian era moved on, so did much of the industry.
In the course of the 19th century, the by now much expanded, but still low populated and spread out village, acquired a police station and Magistrate Court. These were later disbanded in the 1960s and their buildings demolished. The village also had its own primary school which closed in the 1970s. Until the 1980s the village still had a post office which subsequently closed, leaving the Castle Eden Inn(pub) as well as the village hall (which has come to occupy the site of the demolished structures) as the only amenities, up until the recent redevelopment of the brewery site(Castle Eden Ales, now having made arrangements, to work with Camerons in Hartlepool). The village was also once served by two railway stations, which closed as part of the Beeching Axe branch line closures.
The Haunted History of the Castle Eden Inn
Darren, the landlord of the Castle Eden, told us at the end of the night a few of the odd things that had been reported over the years at the inn.
There had been a tale of a woman who had been picked up upon in the front of the upper rooms (the – what would be – private apartments that existed at the front of the inn). It was said that she would sit in the window looking out perhaps spending a lot of time there due to some disability.
Reports of a man had been picked up who had hung himself in the stables and people would report a feeling of being strangled and choked sometimes within the inn. The stables had since been converted into the function room of the inn.
Footsteps would also be heard from the upstairs portion of the inn, specifically along the long corridor that ran from the stairs to the bottom room, plus numerous unexplained bangs and taps from various locations throughout the inn.