This was just as well back in 1745 when a foreign army came to England for the last time. This was the force of Scottish Highlanders raised by Bonnie Prince Charlie, which had defeated the British army in Scotland and was now marching down what is now the A6 towards London. While troops were hurriedly brought back from the wars in Europe to face the threat, panic ran ahead of the highlanders, who reached Derby. Even as far south as Bletsoe, villagers hurried to bury valuables to keep them out of the way of pillaging Scots and sent their womenfolk away to safety.
Standing directly on the main road north, and so in the path of the enemy, stood the Falcon Inn. This was one of the most famous and best admired coaching inns on the road north to Leicester, Derby and Scotland. The Scots never reached this far, but the Falcon played host to the military officers racing back and forth between London and the troops facing the Scots. When the army marched north, the troops camped around the inn and the innkeeper did booming business.
It may have been in these troubled times that the ostler who worked here came to have an unfortunate accident. At least, it was recorded as an accident though local gossip had it otherwise. The unfortunate lad was found dead having apparently fallen from the hayloft. Whatever the truth of his death, the boy returns to the inn to this day. He is sometimes seen in the gardens, which run down to the river, but most often appears in the pub itself. For some reason he seems to favour the rooms that are now the kitchens, where food is freshly prepared lunchtimes and evenings for the customers.
The ghost is blamed for things that go missing, which may or may not be his fault, and is generally reckoned to be one of the more active phantoms in Bedfordshire.
Haunted Places of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire by Rupert Matthews
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