The Ferry Boat Inn is located in Holywell village and is said to be the oldest inn in England. It is also haunted by the ghost of a young girl, probably because it was built over her grave.
Part of the inns bar floor contains a granite slab. This stone marks the grave of a beautiful 17 year old girl named Juliet Tewsley. Over 900 years ago, Juliet lived in Holywell. She was a happy, carefree girl and was loved by everyone in the village.
But that all changed when she met a handsome young woodcutter named Tom Zoul. As she wandered through the woods, picking flowers, Juliet would watch Tom on his way to work. She fell deeply in love with him from afar and became quiet and withdrawn.
One day, unable to remain silent any longer, Juliet picked a bunch of flowers for Tom and waited until he approached her. Trembling with emotion, she offered Tom her bunch of wild flowers. But Tom just told her to go home to her mother, pushed her out of his way and walked away without looking back.
Heartbroken, Juliet collapsed on the ground and sobbed quietly for many hours in the woods. By nightfall, she had made up her mind that she could not go on living without her beloved Tom.
She quietly made her way to an outhouse behind her cottage home, picked up a piece of rope and walked slowly towards the tree near the river.
Her body was found hanging the following morning, and the whole village mourned for Juliet. But in those days suicide was regarded as a terrible crime and the villagers could not bury her body on holy ground. Instead, they buried her under the tree, on the spot where she committed suicide, as a warning to others not to be so foolish. Because she had taken her own life, only a single slab of granite stone marked her grave.
The woods where she watched her love are still there. So are the river in which she swam and the glades where she played as a girl. So, too, is the tree from which she hung herself, and the cold, grey slab of granite which was her only gravestone.
When the Ferry Boat Inn was being built, the owner got permission to build over Juliet’s grave. The innkeeper laid the floor of his inn around the gravestone. It is from beneath the stone that Juliet’s ghost is said to appear every year on the anniversary of her death.
It was midnight on March 17th, 1050 when the poor girl hung herself. Every year on March 17, Juliet’s ghost returns to the scene of her suicide. Many people claim to have seen her ghost rising from the stone and gliding out of the inn. Others have used a Ouija Board to talk to her spirit.
The current owner says there is definitely something strange about the place. His dogs bark and run from the gravestone. Doors bang at night and things are often found moved from their proper places.