Iron Duke Hotel
We conducted a ghost hunt at the Iron Duke, it was an interesting night however due to a hardware failure back in 2008 all the investigation data has been lost, although in those days we went as detained in our collection methods so not much of it would of been usable by todays standards anyway. I remember that the most activity came from a glass moving session in the bar area (yes i know but we weren’t drinking) where it appeared that the guests were in communication with a chap who’s wake was held there several weeks earlier. The IronDuke has lots of fascinating history to it and some interesting ghost stories (see below). It would be amazing to go back and do another night if only to get a fresh collection or the data from the investigation.
“I was in the ladies a couple of months ago, when I distinctly heard the door open then close again like someone had walked in. When I came out ofthe cubicle I was in, there was nobody but me in the toilets. I thought nothing of it and washed my hands – it was only when I looked up that I realised that the ladies door was open and was staying open.”
(The ladies toilet door does not stay open on its own as has a spring hinge. Unless wedged open, it will close automatically)
Local in The Iron Duke
“I lived in room X upstairs for 18 months and I had a very strange thing happen to me and it happened about 3 or 4 times whilst I was there. I would wake up in the morning and feel like there was someone lying next to me. I could feel their arm over me and the depression in the bed by my side. It was alarming at first, but I wasn’t frightened. It actually felt quite calming, and then it would be gone… just like that. I was told once that a chambermaid was murdered in my room, so that could have been it.”
Kevin, ex resident in The Iron Duke
“I am quite often kept awake by a shadow in the alcove of my bedroom and I have had some ‘apparition’ sit down on the end of my bed.”
Ian, resident in The Iron Duke
“Once when I was coming back up the stairs from the cellar, I got that horrible feeling that someone was behind me, I had tingles running all down my back and I had to run away from the area as fast as I could. I always felt watched.”
Former barmaid at The Iron Duke
“I have been drinking here on and off for about ten years and I have heard many stories on the place being haunted. The only thing that I found really strange was that when I used to bring my dog in here he would stare at the back wall all the time, like he was watching something. He would bark at the wall too.”. (This lady pointed out the exact spot by the back wall that other people had noticed a cold spot)
Local at The Iron Duke
The Iron Duke was first built in 1828 as the Kerrison Arms for the middle and upper classes of the area (although it may have even preceded the erection of Brunswick Town as there are mentions of a fishing settlement here as far back as 1288). The building itself is in a very plain in style and quite unlike the other buildings of Waterloo Street. It is quite possibly the work of a different and unknown architect or builder. It was originally named after Sir Edward Kerrison who lived locally and was one of the Duke of Wellington’s officers. Kerrison served during the Peninsular War and also at Waterloo.
Directly across the street from the Iron Duke is St Andrews Church. Built at the same time as the Duke, there is a ‘secret’ tunnel that runs between them. It is said that in Victorian times, distinguished members of society would use this tunnel to enjoy a pint or two after the service without setting a bad example to the lower classes. During renovations to the church in 2005, workmen found dozens of gin bottles in the tunnel dating back over
100 years ago!
Historically, it is very important, as the development of Brunswick came after a meeting held in this building in 1929 by the Brunswick Town Commissioners. It was right here that they decided how Brunswick should be administered and they continued to meet here
It has been always been considered, throughout history, as a fashionable pub and a place to be seen at. It has had a large list of famous visitors throughout the years, from famous sports personalities like Fredrick Lillywhite, to famous entertainers such as C.B. Cochrane.
The inn itself has been re-named several times. Between 1907 and 1910, it was called the Hove Lawns Hotel which was then changed to The Iron Duke in 1974. During the 1990’s it went through several name changes, first as The Duke, then The Iron Duke again, The Duke Inn in 1997, before going back to The Iron Duke. It is the oldest accommodation inn of its type in Hove..