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Creatures, Myths & Legends

'Devil dog' remains dug up at Leiston Abbey

By T.K. Randall
May 19, 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)




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Comment icon #9 Posted by Kenemet 10 years ago
A slightly less sensational version: http://www.eadt.co.u...shuck_1_3600768 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 10 years ago
My favorite kind of black schuck.... You knew I had to.... Tune!! Not heard that in a loooooong time.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Yes_Man 10 years ago
You got to wonder why it went on a rampage?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Urisk 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
Yesterday, 500 years after Black Shuck first went on the prowl, archaeologists were examining the skeleton of a 7ft long dog unearthed in the remains of an ancient abbey. It was discovered a few miles from two churches where Black Shuck is said to have killed worshippers during an almighty thunderstorm in August 1577. http://www.dailymail...ast-Anglia.html 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 10 years ago
Great story, but I admit to never having heard of it before. Is Black Shuck a commonly known legend in England? It's a fairly well-known legend, yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Shuck
Comment icon #17 Posted by Yes_Man 10 years ago
Hound of the baskervilles?
Comment icon #18 Posted by SaraT 10 years ago
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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