A pub which was illegally demolished was said to have been haunted by an 18th-century highwayman who terrorised the locals.

The Punch Bowl Inn, which was in Hurst Green, was razed to the ground without permission in June 2021.

Following a trial at Burnley Magistrates Court earlier this month, a judge found five people had been involved in the illegal demolition of the historical Grade-II listed building.

Lancashire Telegraph: The demolished Punch Bowl Inn siteThe demolished Punch Bowl Inn site (Image: SWNS)

Andrew Donelan, 60, Nicola Donelan, 58, and Rebecca Donelan, 28, all of Carr Hall, Whalley New Road, Wilpshire, David Cotterell, 57, of Percliff Way, Philips Road, Blackburn, and Brian Ingleby, 69, unlawfully demolished the pub in Longridge Road, Hurst Green.

All five were found guilty of executing the demolition of the building, while Andrew Donelan, Nicola Donelan, Cotterell and Ingleby were charged with failing to notify the local authority of the intended demolition.

The haunting history of the Punch Bowl Inn

The pub and surrounding area is said to be haunted by Ned King, an 18th-century highwayman who terrorised locals in the area.

In 1739, Dick Turpin and Ned King journeyed up from Essex. They stayed in the pub and used it as a base to hold up carriages on nearby roads.

Turpin left after three days for York, while King stayed.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Punch Bowl Inn two years after its closureThe Punch Bowl Inn two years after its closure (Image: Chris Heaton)

According to the story, he teamed up with the pub’s landlord, Jonathan Brisco, who would tip off the men who would then lay in the way for the visitors as they left the coaching house.

While some details of the story differ slightly, Simon Entwistle, who hosts ghost tours around Lancashire, created a video about the story and said they held up around 14 coaches from 1739-1741.

Lancashire Telegraph: The sign on the Punch Bowl InnThe sign on the Punch Bowl Inn (Image: JThomas)

After a shootout, he was arrested in the Punch Bowl while Brisco was killed.

King was dragged down the lane and was hanged from a tree outside the pub, his body buried by the side of the road.

However, his spirit is still said to haunt the site and people have reported hearing knives and forks "jangling together" in the kitchen.