A Seventeenth Century chimney block could hold the key to mysterious goings-on at a historic restaurant in Kings Langley.

Owner Mrs Gillian Barnett, 23, believes the chimney block, which was uncovered during restoration work at the King’s Lodge last week, could well have been the resting place of a woman who was murdered there during the 1600s.

Mrs Barnett, who runs the pub and restaurant with her husband Steve, 26, says that mediums who have visited the Lodge are convinced someone is buried within its walls.

She said: “She could be called Jenny and may have worked here as a maid many years ago.”

The chimney block was hidden by a wall and nobody knew it existed. There is an alcove built into the block with hooks for smoking meat.

Both Mrs Barnett and the restaurant manager’s fiancee, Miss Amanda-Jane Dunkley, have heard strange goings-on in the Lodge which was given to King Charles I in 1642.

Miss Dunkley was watching a late-night film when the light bulb dropped out of its socket for no apparent reason.

Later, the light in the bathroom kept switching on and off and there was an eerie tapping noise on the fire extinguisher outside her bedroom.

The Barnetts are in the process of restoring the Lodge to its original state. They intend to improve the facilities for businessmen and open a new lounge and nine hotel bedrooms.

[From the Watford Observer of March 27, 1981]

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