The Three Mariners



In the Jacobite uprisings of the 1700's it is believed a Jacobite was stabbed to death whilst playing cards.  His ghost has also been seen outside this public house.

Another ghost is said to be that of a man who was murdered in the pub and his body was hidden under the seats which probably would have been box seats at the time.

The cellar and toilets which are both on the first floor are said to be the most haunted areas.  A blond lady is said to haunt the toilets and things have been thrown around the cellar which in times past housed on occasions prisoners from the Castle including the Pendle Witches.

People have reported being touched by unseen hands and seeing a mariner similar to the one in the sign outside.  Children seem to be more receptive which is not unusual.

There are loads of stories from previous landlords of unexplained footsteps being heard and glasses being smashed for no reason.


The Three Mariners is a Grade II listed building.  There has been an Inn on this site since the 1400's.  This public house was previously known as The Carpenter Arms Hotel and before that in the 1600's it was known as The Red Lion.

Its an unusual building as the cellar is on the first floor not the basement!!  As it is built below the Castle the water from the Castle rock keeps the cellar nice and cool all year.  It is believed there is a secret passage that connects the Castle to the pub and in previous times prisoners from the Castle would be lead through this tunnel into the cellar and allowed to have a last drink there with their families before being taken on a cart to be executed.  The Pendle Witches were taken from this pub, then called The Red Lion, to their execution, in a cart sitting on top of their own coffins!

The Three Mariners sits in Bridge Lane.  This was the route taken by the Jacobites on their way to the Market Square in 1745 where they proclaimed James III the lawful sovereign.

At the time of the Jacobite siege of Lancaster in 1745 Dr Bracken a so called supporter of the Jacobites who was also a spy for for the Hanoverians stayed here at The Red lion.  On November 24th 1745 there is a record that Dr John Barton a Jacobite supporter rented rooms here to watch the Jacobite army approach and enter Lancaster. 

Sailors were known to be press ganged from this pub.  The landlords were bribed by the Navy to spike the drinks of unwary young men who would then fall asleep later to wake up on a man-of-war ship far out at sea!! 

The ground here dates back to pre Roman times!  Artefacts from the Roman period have been found in the facinity and on May 19th 1891 an old Plug Bayonet from the second Jacobite rebellion in 1745 was found during alterations to a brewhouse behind the then called Carpenter's Arms.  It is known that Jacobite Soldiers were billeted in the area in 1745.

This Public House has certainly witnesses a lot of History over the centuries which has been absorbed into the very fabric of the building.

The following information on Landlords, their families, servants and lodgers that lived in these premises is taken from the Census reports 1841 ~ 1911.   What I did find interesting is that in the 1861 census the building is referred to as The Three Mariners but in all the census that follow it is called The Carpenter's Arms and then at some point after the 1911 census it is again known as The Three Mariners!!

1841 Census:      Innkeeper ~ Thomas Wilson

                              Wife  ~  Christianna

                              Son  ~  Richard

                              Son  ~  Thomas

                              Daughter  ~  Rachael

                             Margaret Swan

                             Betsey Barrow    

                             Jane Sharpe 

The last three are probably servants.

1851 Census:      Beerseller  ~  Eleanor Theyton

                              Son  ~  James

                              Son  ~  Thomas

                              Nephew  ~  Richard Wilson  ~  Cordwainer

                              Servant  ~  Hanna Curren

                              Lodger? ~  George Baines  ~  Agricultural Labourer

1861 Census:      Beerhouse Keeper and Shoe maker  ~  William Bond

                              Wife  ~  Mary .A

                              Daughter  ~  Elizabeth

                              Son  ~  Robert

                              Daughter  ~  Mary .A

                              Mother~in~Law  ~  Mary Physick  ~  Dressmaker

                              Cousin  ~  Robert Physick  ~  Butcher

1871 Census:      Innkeeper  ~  Eleanor Hilden

                              Daughter  ~  Mary                    ~  Barmaid

                              Son  ~  John

                              Son  ~  Robert                             ~  Stonemason

                              Son  ~  George                            ~  Coach Builder

1881 Census:      Innkeeper  ~  Sarah Chippindale

                              Niece  ~  Sarah Cighton

1891 Census:      Innkeeper  ~  William L. Jackson

                              Head of Household and William's Father  ~  Thomas  Jackson  ~  Labourer

                              Daughter of William  ~  Hannah  ~  General Domestic Servant

                              Son of William  ~  Thomas  ~  Joiner

                              Lodger  ~  William Bland  ~  Labourer

                              Lodger  ~  Frank Bunton  ~  Labourer

1901 Census:      Innkeeper  ~  Robert Knowles

                              Wife  ~  Jane .E

                               Son  ~  James

1911 Census:      Innkeeper  ~  E. Hardy

                              Census incomplete but 4 others in household.


Below are 3 videos of the Television Program  Most Haunted

Always good to see one's research backed up by professionals as I had already researched this location before they did their investigation.

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