History & About Prestbury
The Royal Oak Inn is situated in the village of Prestbury, on the outskirts of Cheltenham. Prestbury is mentioned in The Doomsday Book of 1086 because it is located on the Gloucester to Winchcombe road, near to the renowned Sudeley Castle. Prestbury is one of the most haunted villages in Britain and is also the home of Cheltenham Racecourse, ‘Prestbury Park’.
Numerous horse racing legends have visited the pub including Fred Archer who was born here in the village. Additionally, the 1954 winner of The Gold Cup, Four Ten was trained just behind the Oak by J. Roberts.
Equally notable is the pub’s past acquaintance with Tom Graveney, the English batting legend who, with his wife Jackie, was Landlord of The Royal Oak for many years. Both Tom and Jackie are still valued customers here whilst Tom has given his name to our pub cricket team.
The Royal Oak Inn is located in The Burgage, Prestbury’s oldest and most haunted street.
Galloping hooves are still said to heard along this road that relate to a galloping Cavalier who, during the Civil War was catapulted from his mount by a rope trap as he rode through the village. After interrogation he was executed and a skeleton that is thought to be his was found near by in the 19th Century. Spectral abbots are regularly seen in Prestbury.
The Black Abbot used to walk the aisle of St Mary’s Church until the Church was exorcised, since then he has taken to the Churchyard. There have been sightings of the Abbot in many parts of the village including near The Plough Inn, Mill Street.
There are a few other places in Prestbury that are said to be haunted, Sundial Cottage in The Burgage, The Three Queens in Deep Street, the three stone cottages next to the Queens and another abbot is supposed to haunt Morningside House in the centre of the village.
We haven’t yet managed to discover one here at The Royal Oak although no one ever admits to having eaten the last biscuit!