This traditional inn was built back in the 16th Century. Over the years it has seen many refurbishments, with a £2 million makeover completed recently. The hotel has been modernised to bring it into the 21st Century, however many of the period features remain. One of which is the main fireplace that depicts carvings of strange erotic symbols and demonic figures.
It is this wooden fireplace that is the centre of one of the most bizarre hauntings you’re likely to have ever heard of. On many occasions (usually in the dead of night) several people have witnessed a dark-haired woman wearing nothing but clogs on her feet tending to the fire. This woman is also believed to take the shape of a brown mist that is often seen in several areas of the hotel, hence the name – ‘The Brown Lady’.
One of the most haunted rooms in the hotel has to be room 20, with many reports surfacing of waking up in the middle of the night to a freezing room. Guests have also reportedly awoken to experience sudden feelings of terror.
Also, in the rooms next to room 20, scratching and banging can be heard originating from there. Strangely, every time this has occurred room 20 has been vacant. It’s also reported that the spirit of a black dog has been seen and heard in this room on several occasions. The door suddenly slamming shut has also been reported here.
In the cellar of the hotel, the sound of a young child or female crying and talking quietly has been heard several times. There’s also a painting hanging here, which has been there for as long as the current owners can remember. People believe it to be cursed, and anyone unfortunate enough to touch it shall die…
Situated at the heart of the attractive market town of Congleton, the strikingly timbered Lion and Swan Hotel is a traditional coaching inn that boasts attractive bedrooms with every modern amenities, a first-class restaurant that prides itself on a high standard of cuisine, and a friendly bar with both smoking and non-smoking areas. Visitors should pause to consider the fine intriguing carvings incorporated within the original restaurant fireplace.
The fireplace is a particular source of mystery, with its complex mixture of guardian lions, surmounting figures and images of curious fecundity-grapes and some ambiguously erotic fruits. Opinions vary as to the symbolism of the four androgynous figures, each seated and pointing with index finger downwards, atop a cherub’s face. Why does only the moustached figure point with his left hand? To what end does the lower figure to the right of the hearth pray so earnestly? And what to make of the undraped and passive counterpart at the left side?
Research suggests that this fireplace carving originated as two ends of a bridal bed, or indeed a more primitive and un-Christian fertility aid: an early sorcerer’s appliance where trusting but barren couples would pay to repose one night, aided by suitable incantations, to break the supposed spell of infertility.
- En-suite facilities
- AM/FM radio alarm clock
- Full tea and coffee making facilities
- Iron and ironing board
Things to do
Based in Congleton, Cheshire, the Lion and Swan Hotel is ideally situated for a variety of activities. If an active day is planned, you’re not too far away from the Alton Towers theme park. A relaxing day golfing is recommended with many fine golf courses in the area including, Congleton Golf Club and Astbury Golf Club. The magnificent Capesthorne Hall is just 15 mins away by car. Other places of interest close by include; Biddulph Grange Garden, Dunham Massey, Jodrell Bank, and Tatton Park. There’s also plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants in Congleton centre.
- 5 Singles
- 2 Twins
- 2 Family rooms
- 6 Executive Doubles
- 5 Standard Doubles
- 2 Suites (incl. Honeymoon suite)
Average Room Tariff:
- Single rate £50 BB
- Twin rate £60 BB
- Family room from £75 BB
- Executive Double £70 BB
- Standard Double £60 BB
- Double Sole occupancy £55 BB
Related pages: The Most Haunted Places in Cheshire