Ghosts of the Bell Hotel, Faringdon
30 December 2022
The Bell Hotel is Faringdon's oldest hostelry by quite a large margin, having first opened its doors as a hospice run by Cistercian monks in the 12th and 13th century.
Executed civil war soldiers
According to shadowsofthenight.co.uk, the inn is haunted by the civil war ghosts of a number of Parliamentary soldiers who were executed for mutiny on the orders of Oliver Cromwell.
These executions would likely have taken place in April 1646, as between April 20th and 24th Parliamentary forces besieged the Royalist-held town of Faringdon. A relentless bombardment of cannon fire from the battery established on the top of Folly Hill destroyed the steeple of Faringdon church, and ignited a fire that destroyed most of the wooden buildings in the town. This included the Bell Hotel, which had to be partially rebuilt with a new frontage.
Other civil war ghosts in Faringdon are covered elsewhere on this website, including the story of a headless ghost who may have been beheaded by one of the cannonball fired from Folly Hill!
Ghostly monks and healing waters
Another possibility is that the ghost is one or more of the Order of St Mary of Citaux monks who once worked there, caring for Faringdon's sick and infirm. The water from a nearby natural spring was said to have healing properties, and the monks used it to brew beer for the townfolk.