Grave of the Godstone Pirate - Atlas Obscura

Grave of the Godstone Pirate

Godstone, England

A pirate is laid to rest at St. Nicholas Church. 

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The Grave of the Godstone Pirate can be found in an otherwise innocuous-looking church in Godstone.

John Edward Trenchman was born in London in the 17th century. At the age of 12, he left the city’s docks and joined the crew of the notorious pirate Henry Morgan. After years at sea, Trenchman returned to England but did not leave his pirate ways behind. He smuggled goods along the country’s southeast coast. But when a member of his crew was arrested and gave up the secret smuggling routes, customs officers put a stop to his piracy. 

Trenchman was wounded in the ambush. He escaped and made his way to the Fox and Hounds Inn in Godstone, but eventually succumbed to his wounds and died at the pub. Villagers buried him in an unmarked grave at the south end of the churchyard at St. Nicholas.

The church was the subject of several episodes of haunting after the pirate was initially buried in an unmarked grave at the back of the church until the priest and churchwardens removed the pirate’s body and reburied him with a full Christian service, opposite the church doors. From then on nothing more was seen or heard of Godstone’s pirate ghost.

More can be found about the pirate at the Fox and Hounds pub, where he died. The pub is a few minutes’ drive from the church on the other side of Godstone. It can be found by heading into Godstone from the church and heading towards Godstone Farm (follow the signs). The pub is a little way past the Godstone Farm.

Know Before You Go

The pub is in a different location than the grave. The grave can be seen at all hours but if you want to go inside the church while you are there then you will need to visit during opening hours.


The pub can be found by heading into Godstone from the church and heading towards Godstone Farm (follow the signs). The pub is a little way past the Godstone Farm.

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August 21, 2023

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