Owners of haunted historic pub ordered to rebuild it after illegal demolition

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A haunted historic pub knocked down last year has been ordered to be rebuilt brick by brick.

The owners of Grade II listed Punch Bowl Inn, in Hurst Green, East Sussex, knocked down the iconic boozer last June after an application for caravan pitches on the site was rejected.

It was thought that the pub was haunted by the spirit of notorious highwayman Ned King.

The owners, Donelan Trading Limited of Wilpshire, were slammed by Historic England at the time.

But now a landmark ruling by Ribble Valley Council has ordered the pub to be rebuilt in its entirety.

They have ordered it to be rebuilt to its original plan based on architecture records as it is 'of special architectural and historic interest'.

The council's enforcement notice reads: "The council is of the view that it is expedient to take enforcement action, having regard to the effects of the works on the character of the building as one of special architectural and historic interest."

The boozer was built in the 18th century and was visited by King and fellow crook Dick Turpin in 1738 as they started their new trade in highway robbery.

Turpin then left to head to York while King teamed up with landlord Jonathan Briscow to hold up horse-drawn carriages at a nearby crossroads.

King robbed 14 coaches before being caught and executed in 1741 and his ghost was said to roam the boozer along with Turpin's.

Sadly, it had been left unoccupied since the pub closed in 2012, and had fallen in to disrepair.

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Locals were shocked last June to see the old pub demolished to rubble.

At the time, Katherine Turner, from Stonyhurst said: "It's so sad. It has always been a part of village life. I was driving past and couldn't believe it."

In December 2021, the owners then applied to turn the site into a holiday park and build 15 static caravans on the land.

The case of the illegal demolition was also heard in Blackburn magistrates on March 23, where five individuals pleaded not guilty to the demolition of the historic inn without consent and the demolition without giving notice of the intended demolition.

Their case has been adjourned until April 19, when it is set to be heard in a five day trial.

  • Pubs
  • Alcohol

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