Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ketton Ox: Animal & Pub, Pt 2 (NZ419129)

© Copyright Gordon Hatton and licensed for 

The Ketton Ox public house, a fine-looking affair at No.100 High Street, Yarm, has a history stretching back, in various forms and under many names, some 400 years.  It must have enjoyed its fair share of custom during the town’s long reign as one of the region’s premier coaching stops – to say nothing of Yarm’s status as the Tees’ primary port before the rise of Stockton and Middlesbrough.

However, as elegant as it looks today, the establishment has dark associations with the once rampantly popular sport of cockfighting. Indeed the place was well-known for its gory gatherings when it was a legal pastime; but come a rather inconvenient change in the law in 1835, it had to move with the times… the landlord switching the venue to another room – conveniently fitted with a trapdoor to permit escape if the place was raided!

Being over four centuries old, the pub is, of course, haunted, with all manner of ghostly going-on, it would seem. Many put this down to the fact that the pub was once used as a morgue, primarily for bodies which, from time to time, found themselves floating lifeless in the River Tees.

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