Sunday, 12 March 2017



The Talbot Hotel in New Street, Oundle is reputedly haunted by the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots who was held prisoner at nearby Fotheringhay Castle and where she was also executed. But why would she haunt The Talbot Hotel in Oundle?

There is also a spooky legend concerning a spring well which was located at the rear of The Talbot. The well was said to 'drum' or at least to sound as if a drum was being beaten. Unfortunately the well was filled in but the lane at the rear of The Talbot Hotel still bears its name.


Back to the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots and why she haunts The Talbot. There has been a Public House located on this site since 638 AD. During Tudor times it was known as The Tabard or The Tabret. The oak staircase at The Talbot was removed from Fotheringhay Castle prior to its demolition in the 17th Century and is surely the staircase down which Mary would have been led to her execution!

In October 1586 Mary was tried in Fotheringhay Castle and found guilty!

On 8th February 1587 she was executed by beheading in the Great Hall of the castle.

The magnificent façade of The Talbot Hotel was extensively rebuilt in 1625 using stone from Fotheringhay Castle.

The landlord of The Talbot at that time was William Whitwell and he also bought the staircase!

It is said that the ghost of Mary still descends down the stairs and light disembodied footsteps like that of a woman have been heard on the stairs. She has been seen at the top of the stairs wearing a long white gown with a white cap too and she is also said to look out of one of the landing windows. As if that wasn't enough 'things that go bump in the night' the sound of a woman crying has also been heard!

One of the splendid rooms at The Talbot Hotel

The corridor which looks down upon the courtyard

The corridor from the opposite end

Another location said to be haunted in Oundle is not too far from The Talbot Hotel, The Ship Inn on West Street where local legend says that the spirit of a  former landlord who jumped from an upstairs window to his death still walks this 14th Century coaching house! His ghost has been seen and felt, particularly on the stairs!

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