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The Killing Game

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  Crime Scene
Tel: 03300 882 851
Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm
Sat 10am to 1pm


Whately Hall Hotel

17-19 Horse Fair, BANBURY, Oxfordshire OX16 0AN
Tel: 01295 253261
Please note the venue will not be able to help with bookings for our events.

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In 1687 King James II visited Banbury and stayed in the current bedroom of the suite now numbered 52 or the Fathers Dyneing Room.

There are also known links with William Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin.

The hotel has a great connection to Jonathan Swift, the author of "Gulliver's Travels" published in 1726. Swift was staying here when writing the book and took the name of his hero from a tombstone, which stood on the north side of the church. The name Gulliver may still clearly be seen on a plaque in the churchyard in memory of the original as time has taken its toll to this stone.

The Ghost:
Room 52 has a sitting room which in the 17th century was a secret meeting place for a group of local catholic clergy. The sitting room was served by a secret passage that started in a cupboard and led down to room 20. This in turn led down to the Harness room and from there the escapee could make their way to the well entrance behind the building. This well gives access to a tunnel system via a small cast iron ladder set into its wall; the tunnel system is known to have led to a church - St Mary's or St John's and the Cross. It is also rumoured to go much further - perhaps as far out as far as Broughton Castle.

The priests and innkeeper had an alert system to announce the arrival of any persecutors of the catholic faith; a bell was rung by means of a pulley in the hall entrance. The priests would then head for the tunnels.

It is alleged that 4 days after the royal visit, on the 6th September 1687, during a meeting kept secret due to religious intolerances of the day, a cruel trick was played.

John Heuston, a member of staff of the Inn returning worse for wear from a lengthy session at the famous Cattle Mart, pulled the emergency cord. This prank set the priests into action, but the combination of narrow space, darkness and fear caused one priest to suffer a terror attack. This priest Father Bernard was so scared his heart stopped and he ended up dead at the base of the stairs.

It is believed that Father Bernard took to walking the passageways for the last 300 years in search of the prankster. It is fateful that Heuston in turn died a violent death by stabbing. This is thought to have occurred when co-workers and patrons of the Inn found out about the awful prank gone wrong.

The secret staircase within the building was blocked at each level over 100 years ago; the tunnel system under the town has suffered collapses at certain points over the years with only two known entrances still uncovered: the well in the garden and under the church.

For more information about the hotel please visit their web site

Events at this venue
Saturday 25th August 2018  [Details]Dinner: A Multitude of Sins
£55 per person - Dinner Dinner Price Info
£120 per person - Dinner & 1 Night Stay 1 Night Price Info
£170 per person - Dinner & 2 Night Stay  2 Night Price Info
Call 03300 882 851 to book
Saturday 27th October 2018  [Details]Dinner: (New Autumn Evening)
£55 per person - Dinner Dinner Price Info
£120 per person - Dinner & 1 Night Stay 1 Night Price Info
£170 per person - Dinner & 2 Night Stay  2 Night Price Info
Call 03300 882 851 to book
New Year's Eve 2018  [Details]Dinner with disco & overnight stay: Dramatic Exit
£180 per person - Dinner, Disco & 1 Night Stay 1 Night Price Info
£230 per person - Dinner, Disco & 2 Night Stay  2 Night Price Info
Call 03300 882 851 to book
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85 Cannon Grove, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9LP, England      Tel: 03300 882851      
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