SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Barnby, SUFFOLK
Legend: "Barnby...boasts of a ghost in the form of a black Retriever dog that has often been seen [on the A146 road] between the 'Blind Man's Gate' [former pub, now a car showroom, at Grid Ref. TM48759061] and Barnby Church [TM48078993.] To have the dog ['Old Shuck'] follow one is a portent of disaster in the shape of the death of some near relative."
Source: M. L. Powell: 'Lowestoft through the Ages' (Flood & Son, 1952), p. 28.
Place Name: Barnby - OScand. 'Biarni's village/homestead'
Other: See further legend and encounters below.

Location: Barnby
Legend: "Barnby might not have a fiery monster bringing death and evil [like Bungay and Blythburgh.] But many villagers believe it has a big, black hound which has over the years struck terror in the hearts of travellers on the Beccles-Lowestoft road [A146.] Ask a village about the hound and he will say, 'The one down the Water Bars? [TM48279029] It's a strange thing, but there's many think the hound's got no head'...'[Denny Colier] says there is a legend that a dog was killed on the railway line. Its head was cut off by a train, and its chain became embedded in its neck'...

Most of them will agree the fearsome hound has not been seen so often in recent years. Perhaps the last words should be with Mrs. Bartram: 'I think the hound is still there at the Water Bars. The difference is in the way people travel. Years ago they could only go by foot or cycle, but now they motor and just don't see it'."

Source: R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.
Other: According to my friend Ivan Bunn, who investigated the Barnby hound, this and the following encounters all occurred in the 1930s. The 'Water Bars' were a short stretch of the A146 where water used to drain off the fields and flood the road, in the days before pipes were laid to divert it.

WaterBars.jpg (19091 bytes)


Location: Barnby
Encounter: "The last occasion on which it [a black Retriever dog] was seen was by a motor cyclist, who had been to Carlton on business. Returning [on the A146], he was followed by Old Shuck, and he relates that whatever speed he went, Old Shuck managed to keep up with him. The sequel was that some three days later his sweetheart died in Ipswich Hospital."
Source: M. L. Powell: 'Lowestoft through the Ages' (Flood & Son, 1952), p. 28.

Location: Barnby
Encounter: "Perhaps the strangest story is that of a Mutford farm worker, Denny Colier. His story was related by Mrs. Dorothy Delf, wife of the licensee of the Swan Inn, Barnby. 'Denny was walking home from Lowestoft to Barnby one night', said Mrs. Delf. 'He saw a black dog, but the strange thing it was headless and there was a chain dangling around its neck. The dog brushed alongside his legs. He went to speak to it and bent down, and heard the chain rattling as it was dragged along the road. He went to touch it, but it was gone. It went through the hedge and over the railway line. Denny is convinced he actually saw the dog'."
Source: R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.

Location: Barnby
Encounter: "In one of the Melchet cottages lived Mr. George Beamish, who was convinced he saw the hound one dark night. He died over a year ago but his story is taken up by Mr. Albert Sharman, who has also lived in the same cottage. 'George was walking home one night and coming up to the Water Bars [TM48279029 on the A146] when he noticed a dog alongside him', Mr. Sharman told me. 'He did not pay any special regard to the animal, then turned to speak to it. He looked and he saw it was no ordinary dog. It was big and black, but it had no head. He put his hand down to coach the animal, but it went clean through the dog...there was nothing there. He got the wind up and ran home to his family. He told them: "I saw a dog on the road. I went to touch it, but it wasn't there. There was no bloody head on it!"'"
Source: R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.

Location: Barnby
Encounter: "The hound also appeared before Mr. Charlie Bailey, a former drifter skipper now living at Blundeston. His story is remembered by Mr. John Alexander...of School Meadow, Barnby, and Mr. Billy Welton, of Beccles Road.

'He saw the dog without a head when coming home from Lowestoft' [on the A146], said Mr. Alexander. 'A few nights later he passed the same spot and his oil lamp blew out. He lit it, but it blew out again. He dared not wait any longer to try a second time!'"

Source: R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.

Location: Barnby
Encounter: "Mrs. Violet Shulver...of Mill Lane, told how her Uncle Tom saw the hound when returning one night from the Blind Man's Gate public house [on the A146], which was demolished some twelve years ago.

'Uncle Tom came in and said he had seen a black dog. My father told him he had had a glass too much, but my uncle was adamant he was not drunk. He said he had been walking home when the dog came up beside him. It was fairly big and seemed friendly, so uncle went to touch it...But then it was gone.'" (1)

According to one account, the dog was headless. (2)

Sources: (1) R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.
(2) Letter from Mrs. Hazel M. Durrant (great-niece of witness) to Ivan Bunn, 24/2/1976.

Location: Barnby
Encounter: "Mr. Michael Wigg, agricultural engineer, said his cycle got a puncture returning from Lowestoft one night. He left the cycle and began to walk home. 'It was by the gamekeeper's cottage [n the A146, at the 'Water Bars'] and half-light when I glanced to one side and saw what seemed to be this big Labrador. I did not hear anything, not a movement. It was very eerie. I turned round and the animal had gone. It was definitely a big, black dog, but it made no noise. I felt a cold shudder come over me at the time, and I hurried to reach home'."
Source: R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.

Location: Barnby
Encounter: "...Mrs. Brenda Bartram, who is post mistress at North Cove Post office, Mill Lane, Barnby, and is herself a niece of the late Mr. Beamish. She has seen the hound on at least two occasions. She and her sister - now Mrs. Doris Horan, of...Mill Lane - saw it when going to post a letter. 'The post office was then down the street', said Mrs. Bartram. 'We went round the corner and suddenly saw a big, black dog like a Labrador. I said to my sister "It's Boy Partridge. Let's take him home, he shouldn't be out on the road." I went to get hold of him and he shrivelled up to the size of a cat. I have never been so frightened in my life, I was absolutely petrified. I just fell down in the road and screamed. My sister ran up the church steps.'

Mrs. Horan - a newsagent for many years - also said the dog 'shrunk to the size of a cat and vanished' when they went to touch it. She was terrified and ran up the steps and home." (1)
barnby100drain.jpg (20136 bytes)
"...an incredib
le brush with a black dog...(where the old Hundred Stream [Hundred Drain] flows under the road.) [TM46978945, also the Barnby/North Cove parish boundary]...one dark night just prior to World War Two..." (2)

Sources: (1) R. R.: 'Barnby fears its "headless hound"', in the 'Eastern Daily Press', 17/1/1968.
(2) Ivan Bunn: 'Black Shuck' Part One, in 'Lantern' No. 18 (Summer 1977), p. 5, relating from personal contact with witness.

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