The beating heart of the village
HISTORY OF THE KA
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The Kings Arms has a fascinating story to tell, one of dragons, ghosts and secret tunnels!
Kings Arms Winkleigh
Druids believed and still do, that a Dragon flies every night between the hill fort of Dolbury Hill and Cadbury Hill just to the east of Winkleigh in Heywood, timelessly guarding valuable treasure that is buried there. The last dragon seen near Winkleigh is reported to have been about the size of a human with ‘a hiss which could be heard for miles around’!
Two 17th Century writers recorded a brace of dragons living in the Winkleigh area and, hanging on the wall before you walk into the pub is the Shield of Simon De Winkleigh. In 1393, in order to protect his lands and villagers, this brave soul left to fight the dragon. He drove it away but it returned the following day, the dragon ate him and all that was left was his shield!
''Nah, but Cecilia was going some the other week,'' says his drinking companion.
George and Cecilia, it transpires, are tricksy spirits, known for snatching plates away from hapless waitresses and taking offence if things aren't kept just so at the Kings Arms in deepest Devon.Known to the landlords and locals as George and Cecelia, these two ghosts seem rather keen to remind staff and customers alike of their presence.
George it seems is rather adverse to change in what must have been his former business or local and will register his displeasure by dropping breakables such as crockery and bottles in slow motion! Cecelia is a mischievous little girl who apparently likes to hang on the aprons of waiting staff and knock over pots and pans to gain attention.
''George been playing up lately?''
The mystery of the
glass capped well
But the intrigue doesn’t stop with George and Cecilia. One of the pub’s dining rooms, sited in what was formerly a courtyard, incorporates a glass capped, presumably spring-fed well. Or so people thought until a team from the local Cave & Mine Exploration Group decided in 2002 to undertake a full survey of the ancient feature.
They successfully drained what was found to be a 30-foot deep stone-lined shaft and were astonished to discover two 5-foot high tunnels, one leading towards the North West and the other in the direction of the church.
'The Kings Arms may be serially haunted, but it's not remotely spooky
A multi-roomed, thatch-topped village inn dating back to the 17th century, it's a homely, big-hearted kind of country pub, sublimely confident of its central place in the community.”
Article courtesy of ‘The History & Haunting of’
Mystery has shrouded what was believed to be a spring fed well, which is now a glass capped feature of one of the Kings Arms’ dining rooms. It is actually sited on what was originally a courtyard of the Inn during George 1st time. In 2002, a team from the Winkleigh Cave & Mine Exploration Group (WCMEG) successfully drained the 30ft deep stone-lined shaft and undertook a full survey.
At the bottom of the shaft were two five foot high tunnels; one leading in the direction of the church, the other to the North West.
It is a reasonable hypothesis that in the days when silver and even gold had been found as close as Brushford and North Molton, some enterprising Winkleigh residents, anxious not to draw the attention of the Kings Taxman to themselves, had begun a secret enterprise... to find and secretly mine silver, literally in their own back yard. The pub courtyard!