Leopard Inn

Leopard Inn:

Sometimes known as the "Savoy of the Midlands", the Leopard Inn certainly holds lots of hidden secrets. This building started life about 1640 when a couple of cottages were knocked together and around 1700 it became a coaching house. Helen Wedgewood took the building over in 1740 where she turned it into a hotel and public house. The Leopard is famous as the place where Josiah Wedgewood and James Brindley met to discuss the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1765.

The pub was slightly run down when James Norris bought the building in 1872. He renovated the building and built an extension to add an extra 57 bedrooms. So this made the building 102 rooms over 6 floors.Many years later in 1878 a three storey extension was added with 57 rooms, (these are the ones we will be investigating). All these rooms closed for some unknown reason in 1956 and sealed up until the present owners opened the floors up.

Molly Leigh - the famous witch of Burslem.

Margaret Leigh was born in Burslem in 1685. She is said to have been a very ugly, poor woman, and never married. She lived in a cottage on the edge of the moors, in an area known as Jack Field. Molly was rather strange and bad tempered and she was a regular at the inn. Molly was declared a witch by Parson Spencer, Rector of Saint John's Church in Burslem, because she rarely attended the church, and she was often seen with a blackbird. Prior to her death between 1746-1748, some locals held Molly in the cellar of the Leopard inn and when she got out, she cursed the inn. After Molly died, some locals said that they had she her in her cottage sitting by the fireplace knitting with the blackbird by her side. After this, it is claimed that her ghost was seen around Burslem and at the inn, and her blackbird made a nuisance of itself around the town. People started to think that the witch was not dead. Parson Spencer decided to quieten her spirit and at midnight one night, he and a couple of other people opened Molly's grave and moved her body to face north-south. They even caught her so called blackbird and buried it alive in her coffin. Her grave can still be seen today. Molly is said to be one of the ghosts at the inn.