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Red Lion Hotel, Colchester, Essex


The Red Lion Hotel, is a stunning 15th century Grade I listed coaching inn in Colchester, the UK’s oldest recorded town. With the vast amount of history this building has, it’s very little wonder there are a number of spirits that have decided to stay behind..

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The Red Lion Hotel was built in 1465 in Colchester Essex, Britain’s oldest recorded town. The inn itself is one of the oldest inns in all of Colchester. This historical building still has its original Tudor features, and wooden beams throughout, as well as the original rooms. Such is its historical importance, the inn is now a Grade I listed building.

Paranormal History

As with most old coaching inns we have featured on Haunted Rooms, the Red Lion Hotel has a strong presence of the paranormal. With hundreds of years of being the centre of all the hustle and bustle around Colchester, and the many characters that have passed through its doors, it’s very little wonder that some have decided to stay behind.

Ghost of Alice Catherine Millar

Recently there have been 3 main sightings in the hotel. The most prominent of which is the ghost of  Alice Catherine Millar, who was murdered in the hotel in 1638. There have been reports of her ghost as far back as the 1800’s. Her ghost was so terrifying to the owner of the inn back then, he had the door to her old room bricked up. It may have also been the room in which she was murdered. He had hoped that blocking the door to her old room would put a stop to the haunting, but it failed. Alice continued to haunt the inn, and still does to this day.

Guests and staff has reported seeing Alice’s apparition mostly in room’s 5, 6, and 10. She’s also been seen in the kitchen, and walking to her old room and through the blocked wall where her door once stood. On one occasion, the assistant manager was asleep in his room when he was suddenly awoken in the middle of the night from what he said felt like a strong bolt of electricity through his body. As he gazed around the room, he saw an old rocking chair begin to rock back and forward. To his amazement he witnessed a woman slowly appear on the chair. She then spoke to him and asked if he was alright. When he answered yes, she disappeared.

Hooded Monk

The figure of a hooded monk has been seen, mostly during the early hours. Often witnessed around reception and the corridors. He’s believed to be the ghost of a monk who died in a fire at the inn several hundred years ago. He is reported to have been trying to save some children that were in his care when he himself perished.

The Small Boy

The third ghost at the hotel is of a small boy. He has been seen numerous times in the parliament room, and mostly by children. He has been caught several times appearing in photos taken by guests too.


This old coaching inn is a stunning historical building, full of original features dating back to Tudor times. Each of its 20 rooms are individually decorated, and include en-suite. The Red Lion provides a relaxing environment that provides all the amenities you should expect from a modern hotel, as well as all the plush features that a 15th century coaching inn can offer. Rooms options include single, double, twin, and four poster. There is a restaurant on the premises (The Parliament) that offers classic dishes in a traditional coaching inn setting with original wood beamed ceiling. There’s also a bar as well as 24 hour room service. Parking is also available offsite, at the NCP on Osborne Street, at a cost of £4.50 per 24 hours.


  • 24 individually designed rooms with en-suite
  • Wi-Fi available
  • TV
  • 24 room service
  • Private dining services
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • Iron and ironing board

Things to Do

Based in the centre of the historical city of Colchester, there are no shortage of sights to see. There are also many bars, restaurants, and shops. Local attractions include; Epping Forest, Beth Chatto Gardens, Colchester Zoo, Colchester Castle.

Room Tariffs

Rates change daily based on availability. To check the latest rates please click here.

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