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'Devil dog' remains dug up at Leiston Abbey


Posted on Monday, 19 May, 2014 | Comment icon 18 comments


How did the massive dog come to be buried at the abbey ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Angell Williams

The skeleton of a dog the size of a Great Dane has been unearthed during an archaeological dig.

Tales of Hell Hounds, huge fiery-eyed canines said to once roam the wilds of Britain's countryside, have been told across the British Isles since the middle-ages. One particularly well known such tale is that of the devilish creature known as Black Shuck that was said to have terrorized villages and left claw marks etched in to the door of Blythburgh church in 1577.

Now a team of archaeologists has uncovered something that might help shine some light on the tale - the skeletal remains of a huge dog buried within the grounds of Leiston Abbey. While it's unlikely to be the enigmatic Devil Dog from the stories, the newly discovered canine is thought to have originated from around the same time period as the legend.

"The dog is huge - about the size of a Great Dane - and was found near where the abbey's kitchen would have been," said Lisa Westcott Wilkins, managing director of the excavation team.

"We're still waiting for results from specialists but we believe the bones are from when the abbey was active - so they could be medieval."

   
Source: EDP 24 | Comments (18)

Tags: Devil Dog, Hell Hound, Leiston Abbey


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Kenemet on 19 May, 2014, 23:13
A slightly less sensational version: A version of this says "stood 7 feet tall on its hind legs", which makes it the size of a smaller Great Dane. If you've ever had a dog stand with its paws on your shoulder, you'll understand how a dog can easily be over 7 feet tall.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Urisk on 20 May, 2014, 16:51
Tune!! Not heard that in a loooooong time.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Yes_Man on 22 May, 2014, 9:56
You got to wonder why it went on a rampage?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Urisk on 22 May, 2014, 22:33
Struck by lightning? On fire and all flamey? No wonder it was in a rage, poor thing must've been terified
Comment icon #13 Posted by PlanB on 22 May, 2014, 23:26
Great story, but I admit to never having heard of it before. Is Black Shuck a commonly known legend in England?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 22 May, 2014, 23:57
This is really cool and exciting!!! Great stuff! Let us know the results of the tests please. Could that have been a wolf? The Great Dane breed wasn't around that long ago, was it? I know there were big dogs in the ancient world resembling modern dogs.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 23 May, 2014, 8:48
I wonder if it's buried in the Abbey because the Abbot and his mates set out to capture "Satan's own Hound" and buried it on Sanctified Ground just to make sure it doesn't come back.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Kenemet on 23 May, 2014, 14:37
It's a fairly well-known legend, yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Shuck
Comment icon #17 Posted by Yes_Man on 23 May, 2014, 18:00
Hound of the baskervilles?
Comment icon #18 Posted by SaraT on 10 June, 2014, 18:32
So the skeleton of a dog the size of a Great Dane, couldn't be--a Great Dane? And once again it falls on me to figure out the mysteries of the universe!


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