Yesterday it was back to work in a sense, as we had to go to the auction at Wotton-under-Edge to pay for and collect a couple of items we had bought (bidding online at their post-Christmas sale). 'Wotton' is pronounced 'Wooten' by the way. We had a cup of tea in the cafe in the High Street we always go to, went to the Post Office (letter coming your way, Sharon) and did a bit of shopping. Wotton is a friendly place, quiet and welcoming. It has a long history and above the town on the scarp is an Iron Age hillfort, Brackenbury Ditches, although I would think there was a presence there back through the Bronze Age and the Neolithic too. A good site is always occupied and used in succeeding periods.
The history of the town dates back to 940, and the name probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon words 'wude' for wood (the scarp is still heavily wooded) and 'ton' meaning village. "Wudeton" becomes "Vutune" in the Domesday book and Wotton has strong associations with the manor of Berkeley and indeed the Norman castle still controls the landscape a few miles to the West of the town.
After being granted Borough status in 1253, it became a market town and indeed, a thriving wool town, and fortunately was bypassed somewhat during the industrial revolution when other towns closer to good road links were utilised. The wool trade was especially prolific in Gloucestershire, as the county was famous for supplying the cheap red woollen cloth from which the uniforms were made for the British army.
The ancient Ram Inn, however, is in a different class. It dates from the 13th century and apparently housed workmen who were building the nearby church. (See below). This former Inn is still owned by a Mr Humphries, who has lived there for very nearly 50 years, since 1968, when he bought it from the brewery, and made it his life's work to save the structure. Unfortunately it seems to be looking slightly the worse for wear these days, due no doubt to his increasing age. However, he is still trying hard and you can have a ghostly experience there on a regular basis at £69 a head. With MY experiences of things that go bump in the night, I am NOT signing up for that one!
However, if you want to see a) what it looks like inside, and b) what happened when Derek Acorah and the Most Haunted team went there, follow the link. The programme is about 40 minutes long, and a load of tosh in my mind - though I am not saying there is nothing paranormal there, only that for the programme, much of it was acting. A Cotswold friend says it truly is as bad as the stories written about it, truly evil in parts, and some of the locals wouldn't even walk past it in her day. In my experience, an atmosphere is one thing, and scary happenings another, but the "happenings" are generally not to be summoned up. "It" comes to you . . . as I discovered that day at Breamore House.
As you can see, it didn't pay to fall out with the Church back in those days . . .
See? Told ya!
I couldn't get close enough to make this legible, but all sorts of things have been written about it down the years.
Since Derek Acorah was there, things have gone downhill a bit and now the yard is all shut off from unwanted visitors.
There was also a notice in one of the windows about there being an official demand to do work on one of the chimneys. Please check out this Petition Link and sign and share, to try and raise awareness about this amazing old building. It gives a lot more of the history of it too, so is well worth checking out.
An interesting sign. If you have seen the Most Haunted programme, the end shot definitely shows this sign saying '13th cent" NOT 10th, so someone has painted it over and aged it a bit . . .
Anyway, we were very glad that we decided to explore Wotton a bit (something we have meant to do on previous visits) as we would not have discovered the Ram Inn otherwise.