'Haunted' pub eyed up to become bedsits in bid launched days before Hallowe'en
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The Charnock Hotel, on St. Anne’s Street in Deepdale, is known to have traded continuously from 1870 until time was called for the final time early last year.
The hostelry is thought to have welcomed its first punters even earlier in the 19th century, before its licence briefly lapsed - and, in the 2000s, the venue was subject to rumours that it was haunted.
Since its closure, the pub has “suffered severely from vandalism and misuse”, according to documents submitted to Preston City Council.
Plans were lodged with the authority last week to convert the mid-terrace property into a seven-bedroomed “house in multiple occupation” (HMO). If approved, that means its future residents will share basic facilities like toilets, a bathroom and kitchen.
It was only in April this year that the same applicant - Gerald Rica Ltd. - had a previous proposal to subdivide the pub into two dwellings approved by city planners. As part of the revamp that is now being proposed, access to the cellar would be closed off and a series of internal alterations would be carried out to create the new rooms.
The external appearance of the Charnock - which was previously known as the Clover Street Tavern, after the original road name of the street on which it stands - would be largely unaltered. The public house sign that hangs from the first floor of the building would remain.
The biggest change would come in the form of a single-storey rear extension to allow for the installation of a suitably-sized boiler.
The association of the pub with spooky goings on dates back to 2007 when a new landlady took over the licensed premises. She told the Lancashire Post that strange things had started to happen when she arrived at the boozer - including beer pumps inexplicably switching themselves off.
However, it was the discovery of pool balls scattered across the table one morning - when they had been left in a perfect triangle the night before - that really set her teeth on edge.
Locals did little to soothe her fears when they told her how two barmaids had been frightened to go down into the cellar after seeing shadows and objects moving around. One punter even claimed to have witnessed a woman go into the toilet - and never come out.