Carpenters Arms, Wick
Followers 1

In 1898, The Carpenters Arms public house was the spot where James Rickets was murdered. By the last house, before the Carpenters Arms, there was a stone that marked the spot where James Rickets was murdered.

James was a potato merchant who sold his crops in Bristol. He was coming home in his horse and cart on 17th January, 1898, apparently he had given a young lad a lift and it is thought that they had quarrelled. At 7.00 p.m. a man named Knapp, who was a bootmaker, heard a groan about 150 yards from the Carpenters Arms.

He found Mr. Rickets dying. He sent for the police and a doctor, but before they arrived he died. The doctor found a stab wound cut right through his backbone, one through the heart and slashes at his clothing.

The inquest took place at the Carpenters Arms on the 2nd February. Later at Gloucester a youth of 17 years from Barton Hill, Bristol was found guilty of the murder. He had gone to a police station in Birmingham and given himself up and confessed to the killing. He was identified as the person seen with James, and his name was Albert Griffiths. The defending counsel found that he had sustained a head injury by a cricket ball the previous summer, which had made him suffer from "melancholia" and his character had undergone a change since the accident.

Judge Day sentenced him to death, but due to his mental condition this was reduced to hard labour of, we think, about ten years. We must remember that in the days of 1898 the road was much narrower and very dark, also it was surrounded by trees. There were no street lights here, nor were there any lights from neighbouring towns to light the sky for miles around as they do today. William Rickets was buried in Cold Ashton Church Yard.

The Carpenters Arms is situated on the banks of the River Boyd and on the side of the A420.

This Inn was originally called the "Bridge Inn". It is thought to be approximately 380 years old. There was a shop at the side of the Inn but this has now been closed and is let for holidays.

An old member of the village remembers when the Carpenters Arms was frequented by the "Scruffs and Roughs" of the village, while the Rose and Crown was always favoured by the "Toffs".

When the pub was altered years ago, in the back of one of the bars an old fireplace and wall were removed. Amongst the foundations a decapitated female skeleton and other skeletal remains were found. It is thought that they were "Camp Followers" of the Cromwellian Wars. Obviously for some reason they were killed and hidden behind the thick walls. It is thought that Cromwell's men stayed at the Inn before continuing up to Lansdown.

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