Described by the New York Times as 'the most handsome inn in the world', The Feathers Hotel is internationally recognized for its beautiful Jacobean architecture and medieval heritage. Situated right in the heart of Ludlow, the hotel is ideally placed for exploring the surrounding shops, numerous restaurants, cafes and the town's castle.
The building dates back to 1619, built by Rees Jones, a successful local attorney, its world famous timber facade was adorned with motifs of ostrich feathers, which gave the hotel its name. The town's sympathies lay with the monarchy and these feathers depicted the traditional badge of the Prince of Wales who had been enthroned in 1616 and who would later become Charles I.
Ludlow was a town with Royalist sympathies and remained loyal throughout the English Civil War, during which it is thought that Royalist soldiers lodged at the Feathers. Rees Jones' son Thomas Jones fought as a Captain in the King's Army. After the Civil War he converted the Feathers to an Inn, around 1670.
As well as providing sleeping accommodation, food and beer, the inn was occasionally used as a venue for cock-fighting and prize-fighting. It was also at the centre of politics in the town when candidates for parliamentary elections would make speeches from the hotel balcony then invite voters inside for a drink to help secure their votes.
The Feathers Inn became The Feathers Hotel in 1863 and along with Ludlow Castle has become the focal point for tourists visiting the historic town. It has also become known as an extremely haunted location and has given many of its residents a fright or two over the years. The Hotel has recently opened its doors to paranormal groups and ghost hunters.
Room 211 is considered to be one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel, it apparently plays host to a rather jealous spirit who doesn't take kindly to female guests. One guest awoke to find her self being dragged out of bed by her hair. Upon finally falling asleep again she awoke to find herself drenched in water, while the bed around her remained dry. Her partner meanwhile slept soundly, experiencing just a pleasant gentle stroking sensation on his face.
The ghost of a man in Victorian clothing has been seen by guests and staff walking his dog through room 232 into room 233 before disappearing. The car park outside the Feathers Hotel is also the scene of a frequently witnessed 'living' ghost which only appears to men. The apparition is a young, scantily clad girl that has been seen on numerous occasions walking through cars before vanishing into thin air.
Back in the 70's Mr. Ainsley, a businessman, had an appointment at the seventeenth century Feathers Hotel. After touring the car park a couple of times he was lucky to find a space right opposite the entrance of the hotel. He pulled up, grabbed his brief case and was already halfway across the pavement when he realized he had forgotten some papers. He turned to retrieve them from his car when he saw the figure of a young girl ` about 16` wearing a see-through blouse and a mini skirt walk straight through his car, then glide onto the pavement and pass him before vanishing. Shocked and alarmed hardly believing what he had seen, he ran to the bar of the hotel to gasp out his story to the barman. The barman gave him a brandy, on the house and told him that he was the sixth person to have seen the ghost that year.
A local researcher believes he has found the girl in question, Carole, now in her 20's, when living in the area would walk through the carpark, at least once a week to visit her aunt, The two were `extremely close` and she was `a very dear friend` of the young teenager. When Mrs. Hughes died suddenly, Carole moved away from the area, she now lives in Birmingham. Carole often visualises herself walking the route she used to take, for, `It was really a very happy time for me" she said.