Learn a little about the
History of The Old Silent Inn


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. The Old Silent Inn is notable for its sheer variety of spooks. From workmen being terrified by figures, to staff being convinced that some unseen force is watching them as they carry out their duties, the haunted happenings here are numerous.

According to one previous landlord, a man in a top hat and long coat appears to guests, in particular women, and on another occasion, one guest stayed up all night conversing with the spirit of a young girl, he claimed.

Furthermore, there have been reporting of various poltergeist activity – glasses shoot across tables and beds shake in the middle of the night.

One night a pair of residents awakened when their bedroom began to shake, with a glass pot flew across the room to collide into the opposite wall. They went to the manager, with together they all witnessed a painting moving about on the wall. Coincidentally, the curtains began opening and closing of their own accord, with no one visible to rearrange them.