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Wheelton - Red Lion Inn

Name: The Red Lion Inn

Address: Blackburn Road, Wheelton

The Red Lion Inn was one of the earliest buildings in Wheelton, built in the early 1800's and situated in the centre of the village on the junction of Victoria Street and Blackburn Road. 

It is at this junction that the village boundaries of Wheelton and Heapey meet, where Kenyon's brook runs directly underneath the Red Lion; the road seen in the background leading uphill is Black Lion Brow and is classed as Heapey as the map below shows.

Properties in Wheelton were marked with a 7 and Heapey with a 5 -
We can see both the Red Lion (E.Kellett) & the Black Lion (George Wilson)

Listed landlords at the Red Lion include Edward Kellett (1825-41), Ralph Whitehead (1851), Roger Whitehead(1861-1871), John Bibby (1881), Thomas Bibby (1891), Thomas Sherrington (1901) and John Bond (1911).

Kendal Mercury 28 March 1840

1841 Census

1851 Census

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 06 June 1856

1861 Census

Newcastle Journal 02 September 1869

1871 Census

Preston Chronicle 11 October 1879

Preston Chronicle 10 April 1880

1881 Census

The Red Lion has also been the venue for live music despite its relatively small size -
Pictured above is a band called "Starfish" (photo courtesy of Boyd Harris)

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 17 August 1881

1891 Census

1901 Census

Lancashire Evening Post 30 January 1907

1911 Census

Lancashire Evening Post -Monday, December 07, 2009
Ghosts and Lancashire pubs seem to go hand in hand ... almost as much as the beer and crisps.

There's the legend of Lizzie at The Sun Inn, Chipping. There's rumours of a grey lady at Euxton Mills on Wigan Road. And there are reports of flying CDs at The Wellington Inn, Glovers Court, Preston – to name but a few. Now a Preston university lecturer has attempted to shed light on why watering holes seem to be linked to the paranormal – booze aside.

Dr Paul Rogers is a senior lecturer in the school of psychology at the University of Central Lancashire and since 2004 has taught a module called The Psychology of the Paranormal. He said: "I suspect the obvious link is good old-fashioned storytelling. But with actual ghost sightings – or 'apparitional experiences', as parapsychologists prefer to call them – I suspect it will be a combination of several factors, including prior belief in ghosts. Psychologists know that prior expectations shape what we (think we) see. This is particularly robust in paranormal beliefs and 'suggestion' also has a significant impact on our perceptions. Being told a pub is haunted is more likely to elicit an apparitional experience in its customers."

Other factors which contribute, according to Dr Rogers, include the physical characteristics of many old pubs such as low-beamed ceilings and old paintings.
He added: "Another psychological factor is 'pareidolia'. That is the general tendency to misperceive vague and random visual stimuli. For example, clouds or shadows, having a significant form such as a human figure. In addition, previous research suggests that most apparitional experiences occur indoors, in familiar surroundings, when the experient is in a relaxed state of mind."

Dr Rogers studied a digital camera photograph taken in the Red Lion, Blackburn Road, Wheelton, which appears to show a ghostly figure hovering above a woman's shoulder. He said: "I suspect this can be explained either by double exposure or by pareidolia. That is, the vaporish blur is either a light shadow, a smudged fingerprint on the camera lens or possibly smoke."

David Finch, 39, of Wheelton, who submitted the photograph which was taken at his friend's birthday party, said: "I don't believe in the afterlife and all that but I can't explain the picture. It's done the rounds in the village, everyone has come out with a story."

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