Historic Derbyshire pub’s quest to solve mystery of skeleton hidden in its ancient tunnels

General manager of Pesto at the Peacock Russell Bennett.
General manager of Pesto at the Peacock Russell Bennett.

One of Derbyshire’s oldest pubs is on the hunt for help to solve the mystery of a skeleton rumoured to have been found in its ancient tunnels.

Aside from its food and surroundings, there’s another aspect of Pesto at the Peacock that draws visitors in – its history.

The 11th century inn has been the centre of many stories over the years- including ghostly happenings, visits by Dick Turpin and even a plot to free Mary Queen of Scots from Wingfield Manor.

But in one such story, there remains a mystery and that is the identity of a skeleton found in the Inn’s historic cellar during the last century.

It is believed that the skeleton was found in the maze of tunnels beneath the landmark building in Oakerthorpe.

Today a replica of the skeleton can be seen through a glass panel in the floor of the restaurant that reveals the dark passageway that goes deep beneath the ground.

General manager Russell Bennett said: “People come from miles around to peer into the cellar and see the skeleton.

“What is interesting is the same comment crops up time and time again that this is in fact connected to a real skeleton discovery.

“Sadly, I am unable to answer the most frequent of these questions and that is- who was he?

“So we are going out to the local community, historians and anyone else with information to help us find out who this person was.”

Anyone with any information about the identity of the skeleton can visit the Peacock’s website, Facebook page (Facebook.com/Pestorestaurants) and Instagram and add any links, comments or information that might help Russell in his quest.

“We know Dick Turpin stayed here, we know about the plot to free Mary Queen of Scots, but we really would like to know much more about our skeleton if we can,” added Russell.