Fox and Hounds, Wroughton, Wiltshire
12th April, 2008
The Fox and Hounds public house in Wroughton is about 5 miles outside of Swindon. The site was originally two cottages, which acted as the living quarters for the bosses of the Victorian Workhouse that sat in the valley below. These cottages were converted to a beerhouse by 1866 and possibly much earlier. Beer was brewed on the premises, probably using water drawn from its own well. The beerhouse was known locally as The Drum and Monkey before it burnt down in the mid 1860s. It was re-built and re-named shortly afterwards. Thanks to Jacqui for letting the team investigate this fascinating building.
Extract taken from http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~ramacs/index.htm -
'....The result of lack of accommodation combined with lack of birth control was a plentiful supply of illegitimate children; and what it was like to be one of them can be glimpsed from an entry in the Collingbourne Kingston vestry book dated 10 November 1843: "And also it is agreed, that all the surplus children shall be sent to the workhouse instead of being employed at stone-picking". It was not much fun being a surplus child in Collingboume Kingston. ordered about by the parish overseers and packed off to the workhouse at Pewsey for the winter. Yet perhaps they were better off at Collingbourne than they would have been at Wroughton, where Elle Wyndham noticed in 1845 that "the whole place swarms with children that are being brought up to anything but obtaining an honest livelihood".'
1 x Digital Video Camera
1 x Digital Still Camera
5 x Dictaphones
1 x tape recorder
2 x EMF Meter
Trigger objects -
4 glass marbles
We arrived at the Fox and Hounds at 11:30 and after being introduced to
the landlady, Jacqui we were given access to the hotel area. It consisted of a long corridor with doors leading to eight
hotel rooms (4 on the left and 4 on the right). Sam, Louise and
Philip began by going into each room whilst Jacqui stayed in the corridor.
Room layout -
Room 2, 4, 6 and 8 are down the left hand side of the building.
Room 1, 3, 5 and 7 are down the right hand side of the building -
12.00 am Walkthrough - hotel rooms - 1 - 8
Room 1 (Right hand side)
A pleasant feel to this room but couldn't sense anything.
Room 2 (left hand side)
A pleasant feel to this room but couldn't sense anything at first. This room was being decorated and the workman's
gear was on the floor.
Room 3 (Right hand side)
A pleasant feel to this room but couldn't sense anything.
Room 4 (left hand side)
A very faint build up of energy was felt in this room as the investigators stood in it. Louise became aware of a change in the atmosphere in the area approximating the middle of the bed. The bed’s headboard was up against the wall between this room and the next one up the corridor, room 6. An extremely faint impression was sensed of a young woman in the age range of 19 to 21 in a summer dress from the Edwardian or Victorian era - it was of a general light colour with lots of small flowers in a close print.
She had long hair but her face was obscured and she was approx 5’3” in height. There was a faint smell of burning in the room so it wasn’t too difficult to put two and two together and ask Jacqui if a young girl had died in a fire on the site. She confirmed that the area had once been the site of a large barn which had caught fire. The body of a young local woman had been found after the blaze was put out and it is unclear to this day if she died in the fire, or her body had been placed in the barn and it set alight.
The spirit showed reluctance to show herself clearer or try to communicate with any of the team but the general feeling was that she was either not able to, or was reluctant to move to the light.
Although her description sounds quite romantic she left the impression of being quite troublesome and Louise was not surprised to find out, after the investigation that this spirit had been seen at the time of staff being physically attacked.
Room 5 (right hand side)
By this time Louise and Sam ventured to opinion that there had been no activity on this side of the building. This turned out to be correct according to Jacqui and the team decided to concentrate on the rooms on the left-hand side
Room 6 (left hand side)
Again, the same feeling as in Room 4.This time it wasn't as strong. Philip was the first member of the team to enter this room. Sam followed Philip but had to leave the room straight away. Sam - The only way to describe it is an overwhelming feeling of not wanting to be in the room.
Room 7 (right hand side)
The team decided to use this room as their base.
Room 8 (left hand side)
At this point Louise asked if we could move back down the corridor into the first room on the left-hand side, room 2.
Room 2 (left hand side)
We decided to go back into Room 2. This time Sam picked up on 2 children, a boy and girl -- the girl appeared to be older than the boy. Although they were felt in this room Sam noted that they spent must of their time running and playing in the corridor. This was confirmed by the landlady who's daughter had heard them playing during the night.
Mike and Wendy joined us and we loaded all of the equipment into Room 7. The first experiment was based in the hotel section.
1) A digital camera was set up looking down the corridor using a infra-red lamp
2) We set up 2 triggers -
Room 2 - A4 piece of paper with 4 glass marbles set in a line.
Corridor - A4 piece of paper with toy car placed in the middle of the paper.
3) The tape recorder was set up in Room 4.
We then left the building for 1 hour.
On returning we noticed that the marbles hadn't moved but the toy car, that was place on the edge of the A4 piece of paper was now in the middle.
Cellar and kitchen area
Mike, Phil and Louise then went into the cellar. This is a long room separated up into three rooms of approx the same size each. Although it sat lower then the main building, to which it was adjoined it was a man-made structure rather then being underground beneath the pub. An overall feeling of violence had been sensed that covered the whole area of the public house and it’s outbuildings and Louise suggested that the owners of the land had used the cellar area (or it’s environs) for blood sports (cockfighting, dog baiting etc.) and gambling. Moving through the rooms to the further end Mike picked up on the strong impression of a man shackled to the wall who showed signs of having taken a very severe beating. This area was later confirmed to have been the homes of the workhouse leaders and it was known in the area that particularly troublesome inmates were ‘punished’ here with beatings.
The feeling of the area being steeped in violence was apparent from the very moment the team arrived and drove into the car park and the more we found out when we listened to the interviews Phil had conducted with Jacqui and her staff only persuade us more that anybody delving into the history of the area would unearth quite a lot of violence in the past towards the workhouse ‘inmate’.
Hotel - On returning we noticed that the marbles hadn't moved however the toy car, that was place on the edge of the A4 piece of paper was now in the middle.
We went into the pub for a coffee and Philip interviewed the landlady, Jacqui.
Interview with Landlady, Jacqui
Phil: Can you tell me what you know of the history of this site?
Jacqui (landlady): We found out that originally this site was a workhouse. The workhouse was actually in the field which I don’t like going into and this building was a barn and in this barn a young girl died in a fire that nobody knows whether she was murdered before the fire or died in the fire. She was about 20 when she died and the pub was 2 cottages that belonged to the workhouse bosses. Apparently the cellar used to be an outside toilet and from the history of the place that‘s where certain people used to take beatings from the bosses.
Phil: Tell me what sort of activity you get here?
Jacqui: Activity. Right. In the kitchens I do get things thrown at around occasionally. In here, in the rooms we do get children particularly in this room. Running up and down…
Phil: Room 2
Jacqui: … the corridor. This is Room 2. Running up and down the corridor, knocking at doors, having fun as kids do but in the middle of the night when there’s no kids around. My grandchildren would be upstairs in the flat over the pub in bed so they would be here at all. We’ve had 3 guests stay in room 2 complaining of the noise of children at night . We’ve had 2 people who wont stay in room 8 because it never gets warm - they feel uncomfortable in the room. Young girl, Jemma ? who works for me. She hears the children over here all the time. My daughter, who’s never believed in anything supernatural as also heard the children here and she also hears a mans voice.
Phil: Over in this general area?
Jacqui: in this general area. Last week she came running over to the pub. There was nobody in the pub just herself and there was a little girls voice saying ‘Hello’, ‘Hello’.
Phil: What. In the pub?
Jacqui: In the pub. So there’s activity in there as well. So that’s about it. Oh and darts occasionally get thrown around.
Phil: Right for the record. I’m sitting on the bed in room 2 and I’m feeling really wishy-washy. Like fazing in and fazing out.
Jacqui: This is one of the most comfortable of the rooms. I’m comfortable in this room. I feel absolutely nothing on the other side not even in room 3. Everything I feel is on this side this side of the building.
Phil: Which is on the left as you come in through the front doors. When was the last activity you had?
Jacqui: Me personally?
Phil: Well general - in this area?
Jacqui: That would have been…the last time we had any activity that I know of would have been last Thursday. A week ago yesterday. Apart from all the lights blowing in here today.
Phil: What, in every room?
Jacqui: no, it was just in the corridor. The whole lot just went and there’s no reason why they would have gone. We had no power surges that I know if, nothing. If we’d had a power surge the room lights would have gone as well.
Phil: Last Thursday. What was that?
Jacqui: That was the little girl in the pub talking to my daughter. There was more activity today. My future son-in-law was in room 2 and heard children playing around as well outside the window and running about and there were no children there so again, it’s children. Just outside the window, they were there - laughing, giggling, playing . He looked out the window and there was nobody there.
Phil: What time was that?
Jacqui: That was this afternoon sometime. I can’t tell you what time but sometime this afternoon.
Phil: Thanks Jacqui.
Due to interference on the tapes we couldn’t transcribe the whole interview however were able to get some extracts from the interview with staff members -
…you go over to the Hotel and all the rooms are un-locked and the keys are in the doors. You’ll go out and come back in and each and every door will be locked and you think - ‘all the keys are inside’ so you have to come all the way back over (to the pub) to find some keys to get back into the rooms……..
Kids running up and down the hallways in the hotel block, kids talking. Doors opening…….
In the loft, a girl cries. That was a couple of weeks ago - I was in the loft getting some of the kids toys out. It wasn’t in the rooms, it wasn’t outside the loft, it came from downstairs. It was a girls scream…….Lots of things thing you can’t explain, - Noises, people speaking, things thrown at me - heavy objects that you could not move physically thrown at me. Hearing whistling in the cellar when the pub was closed. I thought it was your dad. I asked you (talking to daughter) ‘Where’s your dad?’ I’d already checked the hallway and corridor - went out to check the front door. That was locked and there was no-one there and no way anyone could have got in and no way anyone could‘ve got out. and you said ‘no, my dad‘s upstairs having a bath.’ ………..Isn’t a high-pitched whistle - it’s a low whistle……
…..I don’t like walking down the corridor. Because I clean the rooms - I hate going past room 4 so as soon as I get to room 5 I start to feel really uncomfortable. I just get really scared and feel uncomfortable……..……..
2.30am Séance - Bar area.
Present - Mike Driscoll, Wendy Driscoll, Louise Marriott, Samantha Marriott, Jacqui, Phil Dobson
A séance was attempted where Mike picked up on twin girls. Unknown to the team the landlady's twin granddaughters were sleeping in the flat above the bar however we had to eventually call an holt as Phil was picking up a lot of negativity. Just before we called the seance to an end a metal plate flew off the wall above the fireplace. This plate was wedged between the wall and a wooden post so couldn't have easily dis-lodged.
Although there wasn’t much evidence caught on the night of the investigation the interview with the landlady and members of the staff provided a good insight into the paranormal goings-on at the Fox and Hounds. We feel that this place is worthy of a full investigation possible over more than one night. If not with UK Paranormal than another, local team.
NO VIDEO AT THIS TIME
NO EVP AT THIS TIME
Corridor where children have been heard playing
trigger object #1 (set up in room 2)
trigger object #2 (set up in corridor)
setting up for the séance in the main bar
the metal sign that fell off the wall at the end of the séance.
the metal sign close up.
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