Skip to main content

Local Legends and Folklore

Explore some historic areas nearby

We love our local area and the history and folklore surrounding it.

Below we have collected some tales and stories for you to enjoy!

The Anchor pub in Walberswick

The Anchor pub in Walberswick

Secret Tunnels

When the old Anchor Inn, long known as a smuggling haunt, was pulled down in the 1920s, workmen are said to have found a bricked-up doorway in the remains of the cellar.
A new pub of the same name was then built, a little further back from the original, and when the water supply was being laid on, traces of an underground passage were discovered, leading from the cellars towards the beach.
Bell Cottage was said to be connected to the old vicarage near the ferry by a tunnel, part of which was discovered when building work was being carried out.

The Black Shuck

The legend of The Black Shuck, the ghostly black dog that is said to roam East Anglia, is famous along the Suffolk Coast. For centuries the tale of Black Shuck has been retold, and though the details vary, every account agrees on one thing: the spectral Black Shuck is terrifying to behold!

You may have noticed many things named after him such as The Black Dog Deli and The Black Dog running club.

According to legend and folklore, Black Shuck has flaming red eyes and shaggy black fur. Some say he is a huge beast, the size of a horse; others say that he is no bigger than a large dog. 

The most infamous sightings of Black Shuck happened on the same day in August, 1577. On that day a great storm was raging along the Suffolk Coast, and the people of Blythburgh were congregated in the church. Suddenly, a clap of thunder broke, and the doors of the church crashed open. Black Shuck ran through the congregation, killing a man and a boy as the churchgoers watched in horror. Then the church steeple fell crashing through the roof, and Black Shuck left, leaving scorch marks on the church door that can still be seen to this day!

Since that day, the sinister black dog has become a common image along the Suffolk Coast. Though thankfully, there have been fewer sightings of the real Black Shuck, and he seems to have stopped his murderous ways. At least, that is, for now…

Eeyore is discovered.

'"Let's go along and see Eeyore" said Piglet. So the three of them went, and after they had walked and walked and walked, they came to a part of the forest where Eeyore was.'

What A. A. Milne did not write, was that the part of the forest that Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Tigger had walked to is in fact near Haw Wood Farm! E. H. Shepard had met Eeyore around here in the summer of 1901 when visiting his fiancee Florence Chaplin. 

Shepard recalls how he and Florence, cycling to Southwold via Blythburgh from the Chaplins' Red House in Hinton, "soon found we had lost our way. It was rough common land and the only living thing in sight was a tethered donkey who, after regarding us for a few minutes, resumed his feeding and took no further interest”. 

As Geoffrey C Munn recalls: 'That donkey, seen amongst the gorse bushes in the background of this charming drawing, was evidently the inspiration for Shepard’s portrayal of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, published 25 years later in 1926.'

Kennedy plane crash

Lieutenant Joe P Kennedy, the brother of John F Kennedy, had been at the controls of an American bomber flying over Blythburgh in Suffolk in August 1944 after taking off from RAF Fersfield.  Wreckage of the plane has been found in the fields surrounding Haw Wood Farm

The navy pilot had been on a top secret mission named Operation Anvil, which aimed to target German forces in northern France.

But the aircraft, packed with 21,000lbs of explosives blew up killing all on board and the remains of the crew were never found.

Lieutenant Kennedy's death hit the family hard, particularly his father Joe Kennedy Senior, who was said to have been grooming him to be the first Irish Catholic U.S. president.

We like to be social

Sign up to our newsletter so we can keep in touch

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.
Find out more here.