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Five found guilty of illegally demolishing historic heritage pub ‘haunted’ by Ned King’s ghost

The owners of a Grade II listed 18th century pub ‘haunted’ by notorious highwayman Ned King are found guilty of illegally demolishing a derelict building after it was torn down last year

  • Five people found guilty of illegally demolishing historic 18th century pub
  • The group was from the company that initially purchased the Punch Bowl Inn.
  • The defense argued that the heritage construction should be flattened due to structural problems
  • The five people involved will be sentenced for incident in the new year.

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The owners of a heritage-listed pub allegedly haunted by notorious highwayman Ned King have been found guilty of illegally demolishing the historic pub.

Five people from the company that originally bought the Punch Bowl Inn in Hurst Green, Lancashire, were found guilty by a jury at Burnley Magistrates Court of illegally tearing it down in June last year.

Andrew and Nicola Donelan, aged 60 and 58, along with Rebecca Donelan, 28, David Cotterell, 57 and Brian Ingleby, 69, will be sentenced on January 24 following yesterday’s decision.

During a four-day trial, which began on November 30, the defense tried to argue that the Grade II listed building should be demolished due to structural problems.

The Punch Bowl Inn, Shown Here Prior To Its Demolition, Is Believed To Date Back To The 18Th Century.

The Punch Bowl Inn, shown here prior to its demolition, is believed to date back to the 18th century.

But a key witness, the head of the construction company Gez Pegram, told the jury that there was “no need” to demolish the pub.

And the judge agreed that while the building was in disrepair, he was not “convinced” that it needed to be reduced to rubble.

Ribble Valley Council took the case to court after sending a formal notice to the owners to rebuild the pub brick by brick after its demolition.

All five defendants were found guilty of executing the demolition of the building, while Andrew Donelan, Nicola Donelan, Cotterell and Ingleby were also charged with failing to notify local authorities of the planned demolition.

The pub, built in the 18th century, is said to be haunted by the ghost of the notorious highwayman Ned King.

During A Four-Day Trial, Which Began On November 30, The Defense Tried To Argue That The Grade Ii Listed Building Should Be Demolished Due To Structural Problems.

During A Four-Day Trial, Which Began On November 30, The Defense Tried To Argue That The Grade Ii Listed Building Should Be Demolished Due To Structural Problems.

During a four-day trial, which began on November 30, the defense tried to argue that the Grade II listed building should be demolished due to structural problems.

Local legend has it that the inn was built in the 1720s and was visited by King and fellow thief Dick Turpin in 1738 when they started their new trade in highway robbery.

Turpin then left for York while King joined owner Jonathan Briscow in stopping horse-drawn carriages at a nearby junction.

King stole 14 carriages before he was captured and executed in 1741, and his ghost was said to wander in the drunkenness along with Turpin’s.

The site was acquired by Wilpshire’s Donelan Trading Ltd who were granted planning permission in 2018 to convert it into five holiday rentals and a cafe.

However, the building, which had been unoccupied since the pub closed in 2012, had fallen into disrepair.

And locals were shocked last June to see the old pub, believed to have been built in 1793, demolished to rubble.

Locals Were Shocked Last June To See The Old Pub, Believed To Have Been Built In 1793, Demolished To Rubble.

Locals Were Shocked Last June To See The Old Pub, Believed To Have Been Built In 1793, Demolished To Rubble.

Locals were shocked last June to see the old pub, believed to have been built in 1793, demolished to rubble.

It had been granted listed status in 1983, designed to protect heritage.

At the time, Katherine Turner, from Stonyhurst, said: ‘It’s very sad. It has always been part of town life. She was driving by and couldn’t believe it.

Historic England said it was “sad” that the latest pub was demolished “without consent”.

In planning officers’ reports written before the demolition of the pub, they said that a proposed caravan development would be detrimental to the surroundings of the listed inn building, the open countryside and the Forest of Bowland area.

The five defendants will be sentenced on January 24 at Burnley Magistrates Court.

How a Lancashire pub got ‘haunted by an infamous highwayman’

Local Legend Has It That The Infamous Highwayman Dick Turpin Stayed At The Inn With His Accomplice Ned King

Local Legend Has It That The Infamous Highwayman Dick Turpin Stayed At The Inn With His Accomplice Ned King

Local legend has it that the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin stayed at the inn with his accomplice Ned King

The Punch Bowl Inn is known to have stood on the slopes of the Ribble Valley since the 18th century.

While a stone above the door dates the building to 1793, locals say the building actually dates to the turn of the century.

A local legend suggests that it was used as a resting place by two notorious highwaymen: Dick Turpin and Ned King.

Folklore has it that the couple arrived in 1739 after riding from Essex, and Turpin decided to move to York while King stayed behind.

The pub’s owner, Jonathan Brisco, is claimed to have assisted King as he robbed travelers on nearby roads.

Legend has it that he was eventually caught by a group of redcoats, who surrounded the pub, killed Briscow and captured King.

There would be no respite for the highwayman though, as ghost hunters claimed he was hung from a tree outside the pub, leading to the pub being haunted.

Life in the pub continued, with an extension added in the mid-19th century, and it was given listed status in 1983.

However, his luck turned for the worse and he was put up for sale in 2013.

It has lain empty ever since, with successive planning requests to bring it back into use being turned down before its apparently premature demolition in June last year.

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Jacky

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