Hare & Hounds

A human skull is on display in a cage-like case at the Hare & Hounds public house, Arreton on the Isle of Wight.

There are contradictory and partial accounts of the skull’s history, and just who the individual was. Local folklore has held that the skull is that of Michal Morey, who was convicted for the murder of his grandson and hanged in the late 18th Century. The most credible account suggests it is the skull of a young woman, living in the area in the Bronze Age. The skull and other bones were reportedly unearthed from a tumulus close to the pub, adjacent to the Downend Road, where several accounts of bones being found are recorded to have taken place over the years. A summary of the background may be found at here.

The issue has been brought to HAD’s attention by locals who feel the display is immoral and offensive. As HAD never condones the display of ancestors’ bones, we will be tracking efforts to bring concerns to the attention of the public house, the brewery and local residents. A survey of local opinion is being organised by locals. Initial contact with the brewery (Greene King) has resulted in their decision to not remove the skull from display. It currently sits on a shelf in a passageway between the bar and restaurant – behind bars.

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