Future of historic pub – and its ghosts – in doubt

The Carbrook Hall pub
The Carbrook Hall pub
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A haunted watering hole in one of Sheffield’s most historic buildings faces 
an uncertain future.

The Carbrook Hall pub, on Attercliffe Common, is being sold by Punch Taverns, which has refused to reveal the buyer or future plans for the premises.

The Carbrook Hall pub

The Carbrook Hall pub

All regulars have been told is that the current landlady’s last day is due to be February 18.

Carbrook Hall, across the road from the Valley Centertainment complex, has a rich heritage.

A building has stood on the site since the 12th century, it was home to the leading parliamentarian Colonel John Bright during the English Civil War and the surviving Grade II-listed stone wing dates back to 1620.

The pub is probably best known more recently for its mischievous spirits, who are said to spook drinkers by throwing open doors, smashing bottles and even locking customers in the toilets.

A plaque on the wall of the Carbrook Hall pub

A plaque on the wall of the Carbrook Hall pub

It regularly features in lists of South Yorkshire’s most haunted venues and few regulars are without a ghostly tale of their own.

A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: “While we always explore a range of options before marketing the freehold of our pubs for sale, we can confirm that, in this instance, a sale has been agreed but has not yet completed, which we anticipate to be mid-February.”

An application to list the building as an asset of community value, protecting it from development, has previously been rejected by Sheffield Council.

Paul Ainsworth, chairman of CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group, said it would be ‘terrible news’ it the building ceased to be a pub.

“We’ve identified the pub as having regional importance because of the amazing Old Oak Room with its 17th century panelling, plaster frieze and richly decorated ceiling,” he said.

“This must be one of the finest rooms in pub use in the north of England. Losing the building to pub use would be terrible news for lovers of historic, characterful and quirky pubs.”

Landlady Michelle said she had witnessed plenty of spooky goings-on during her 16 months there.

“We’ve had a few glasses smashed for no reason, and my dog’s always barking at the ceiling as if there’s something there,” she said.

Regular Ian O’Callaghan said: “It gets busy at the weekends, with the karaoke, and I hope it stays as a pub because there aren’t many other pubs left around here.”

Ben, another regular, aged 32, said: “It’s a good pub and its part of the fixtures and fittings in the area, so it would be sad to lose it. There used to be a dozen or so pubs in Attercliffe, but the area’s not as lively as it was.

“I’m not into that ghost thing but four years ago we took a photo of my friend and there were two faces plain as anything beside him.”