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 Post subject: The Ancient Unicorn
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:17 pm 
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The Ferryman
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The Ancient Unicorn can trace its history as a coaching inn back to the 16th century. Since then it has been at the heart of a community which originally grew up around the Roman fort Lavatrae and the Norman castle of Bowes. The site being strategic in guarding the route out of Scotland and resisting the raiding Scots, which included a siege in 1322 by Robert the Bruce, which left the castle in ruins. Traces of the Roman fort are still visible in the fields south of St. Giles Church. The castle still has residents - the ghosts of the roman garrison who come back on the anniversary of a local massacre. St. Giles Church is medieval with a Norman doorway. It was here in the graveyard in 1838 Charles Dickens found the burial place of George Ashton Taylor, his inspiration for the character of Smike in 'Nicholas Nickleby', the schoolboy who was so badly treated by Wackford Squeers.

Dotheboys Hall in the novel was modelled on Bowes Academy, run by William Shaw, who was often fined for ill-treating boys and whose ways were vividly attacked by Dickens. You will find George Ashton's grave on the north side of the chancel.

In the churchyard is the grave of Edward and Emma whose ghostly spirits have been regularly seen haunting the Ancient Unicorn. The story of Emma and Edward or Roger Railton and Martha Wrightson as they were known takes you back to the 18th century. Their families where both innkeepers. The Wrightsons at the King's Head (long since gone). and the Wrightsons at the George (now the Unicorn). In 1713 Roger fell in love with Martha. Faced with hostility from parents the pair had to meet in secret. On Shrove Tuesday 1713 fate stepped in and Roger fell ill from a serious fever. He begged to see Martha. Eventually the Wrightsons relented and Martha was allowed to visit him. Three days later he died. Martha died shortly afterwards of a broken heart and the two were buried together in one grave. The sad episode was immortalised in a a ballad published in 1750 called Edwin and Emma and also in a poem "Bowes Tragedy" published about the same time.

The ghost of an unknown 12 year old boy has also been seen in the cellars of the Unicorn.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:13 pm 
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Stone Thrower
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Yeah this again another great place!! I mean look at the EVP!!!! -- hey where's that Jay??? Also I enjoyed Bowes Castle!!!! -- shame we didnt have time to pop there on Sat night too!!! :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:23 pm 
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The Ferryman
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The EVPs are on the report .. or at least they were the last time I checked .. scroll down to the bottom of the report and you'll find 2 little sound players .. hit play .. and voila!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:27 pm 
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aahh good one :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:29 pm 
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Id like to go back to The Ancient Unicorn and i also think bowes Castle is ok too.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:17 pm 
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yeah deffo


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:24 pm 
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A Ratty-Tap-Tap
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i'm up for that

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