The Dirty Bottles Of Alnwick

We love at good local story at the Fabulous North and our new friend Ashleigh Hogarth has a corker about an olde pub in Alnwick. Get your cup of tea and slip into your favourite armchair.

On the old street of Narrowgate, quite literally around the corner from Alnwick Castle is a very old pub called Ye Olde Cross Pub dating to at least 1600. There is a theory the name comes from an actual cross on the front wall of this old inn, thought to be a cross of the de Vescis, the former Norman Lords of Alnwick.

Now it is more commonly known as The Dirty Bottles and here is why.

Lets go back to 1725, the innkeeper of Ye Old Cross was moving some bottles in the window. He dropped dead of a heart attack and it was his wife who proclaimed that there was a curse upon those bottles and should anyone move them then they will befall the same fate.

And so the bottles lay untouched for years, they lie exactly as they were left gathering dust and cobwebs. At some point, the bottles were safely sealed away behind another interior window.

Now, I have known and loved this pub since I was really small and every time we visited we would hear, and read the old plaque inside of the curse. I loved this story and as I got older my logical head said in 1725 medical advances were still pretty limited, folklore superstition played a huge it was probably the old fella had an undiagnosed heart problem.

However, then I read somewhere in a very old transcript that approx 100 years later a man had been hired to clean the windows and do some renovation. He scoffed at the idea of the curse and proceeded to do his work. He finishes for the day heads out of the building, collapses and dies.

My view changed after that and for me I do believe its true, although I have heard others have moved them with no ill effect. So my question is, given the opportunity to take part in a legendary experiment would you move them?

Thanks for that amazing story Ashleigh. We'll definitely have to look out for the bottles next time we're up in Alnwick. And in answer to your question, nope we won't be touching them!

Ashleigh runs the Facebook group Secrets of Northumberland, Newcastle City & The Scottish Borders, why not give them a follow.