‘Haunted’ 18th century pub in Northampton town centre could reopen by end of 2015 after McManus takeover

Shipmans in the Drapery has been taken over by the McManus Pub Company and could reopen later in 2015
Shipmans in the Drapery has been taken over by the McManus Pub Company and could reopen later in 2015

An 18th-century pub in Northampton town centre that is believed to be haunted by a former landlord could reopen by the end of the year after it was taken over by a new company.

The Shipmans pub in The Drapery, which closed last year, has been taken over by the McManus Pub Company and is currently being refurbished.

Paul McManus said the refurbishment of the pub would open up the back window to let more light into the 18th century building

Paul McManus said the refurbishment of the pub would open up the back window to let more light into the 18th century building

The pub, which was built in 1790 by the Shipman family, is a narrow, three-storey building that is Grade Two listed.

Paul McManus, director of the company, said he was hoping to maintain the quirky history of the pub by ensuring it sells a range of real ales as well as spirits and wine.

He said: “In the plans we have been allowed to put the toilets upstairs to give a bit more space.

“We are also planning to open up the original back window to let in a bit more light.

“There are also some wine and sherry taps that we are planning on keeping.”

Shipmans is believed to be haunted by a former landlord Harry Franklin, who took his own life in the building in what witnesses described as a “gruesome manner” more than 100 years ago.

A ghostly figure, suspected to be Harry, has been sighted near the fruit machine and poltergeist-like activity has been reported such as moving pint glasses and the sound of footsteps crossing the upstairs floors.