When Dick Turpin used a Ribble Valley pub to start his career in crime

One historian has revealed the incredible connection between one of the world’s most infamous highwaymen and a former Ribble Valley pub.

Simon Entwistle, who runs ghost tours and talks about Ribble Valley and the Pendle Witches, produced a video about the Punch Bowl pub in Hurst Green eight years ago.

The film reveals how, in 1739, Dick Turpin and Ned King spent two nights at the pub on the Longridge-Clitheroe road.

READ MORE: Latest information on Ribble Valley pub after shock demolition sparked investigation

The couple had traveled from Colchester in Essex to “start their new job of robbing the road,” Simon reveals in the film which he says tells “one of the finest stories to ever come out of the Ribble Valley”.

Turpin then left for York while King teamed up with Jonathan Briscow, the owner of the Punch Bowl, running horse-drawn carriages at the Mitton Junction.

Over a two-year period, between 1739 and 1741, King proclaimed the infamous “stand and deliver” phrase and stole 14 cars.

Thieves: Highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King

Eventually, authorities caught up with King and a group of red coats arrived to bring him to justice, tasked with capturing King and taking him to Preston for trial.

King stood up when he was confronted with the red coats and their muskets and a siege erupted at the Punch Bowl.

King “ran out of ammunition” and ordered Briscow to “run away” but the soldiers caught up and killed him. King was captured and despite orders from the soldiers to take him to Preston, they decided to “do their own justice.”

King was hanged from a tree on the road from Clitheroe to Longridge and his lifeless body was buried there. There have been several sightings of ghosts at the location that Simon presents on his tours.

Story: Simon filmed part of his video from inside the Punch Bowl
Story: Simon filmed part of his video from inside the Punch Bowl

Just four weeks after Simon made his video, in 2013 the pub last called up the last orders and in the summer of that year the Punch Bowl was demolished. Simon told LancsLive he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the historic pub’s demise.

The demolition came as a shock to residents and Ribble Valley City Council subsequently launched an investigation which is ongoing.

Earlier this month, the owners of the land, Andrew and Nicola Donelan of Wilpshire, who operate as Donelan Trading Ltd, submitted an application to allow them to build a trailer park on the site. Documents submitted with the request revealed that the legal dispute is ongoing “between the claimant, his legal advisers and counsel”.

“I was deeply saddened to see this historic old inn being destroyed,” said Simon.

“I viewed the destruction as a form of legalized vandalism.”

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