The Old Silent Inn offers not only accommodation, a range of beverages & fine cuisine but is a traditional pub steeped in history and nestled in the heart of the beautiful Bronte countryside, not far from the popular Pennine Way.
The pub dates back over 400 years and legend has it that when Bonnie Prince Charlie was retreating to Scotland, he stayed here, when it was then called “The Eagle Inn”. The local inhabitants remained silent about his presence and so it is believed that is why it adopted its present name.
This hostelry has had a chequered career. As the 19th century “Eagle Inn” it was a busy rendezvous for farmers, gamekeepers and sportsmen during the grouse-shooting season. However, by the publication of Joseph Craven’s history of Stanbury in 1907, it was no longer an inn.
Despite a measure of fame through being featured in Halliwell Sutcliffe’s fictitious novel, “Ricroft of Withens”, the Silent Inn’s renewed licence lapsed again in 1926.
It reopened in 1965 as the “Old Silent Inn”, albeit only with a restaurant licence but this was followed by a full licence in 1973 and it has remained fully licensed ever since.
A ghost story or two never did a hostelry any harm and the Old Silent has several.
Over a century ago, a proprietor at the pub fed the local stray cats and called them to her by ringing a bell. Even today, her ghostly clanging can be heard around the pub and across the moors. This is accompanied by the noisy sound of invisible hungry feline ghosts. There have also been sightings of a large man with a travelling bag over his shoulder, walking up the stairs of the inn. At the top, he hesitates, looks around and then vanishes.
An all-night vigil by UK Ghost Investigators in 2003 yielded children’s voices, two presences known as Thomas and Abigail, footsteps and ringing hand bells, a feeling of cats around one’s feet, some mist, and a mysterious hand-print in room ten.