Hidden East Anglia:

Landscape Legends of Eastern England











Landscape Features





The ten noble knights


Planted around the churchyard of St. Peter and St. Paul (TL705470) are (or were) ten tall elm trees, under which it is said ten noble knights are buried. When one of the trees fell many years ago, the skeleton of a man was found in its roots.


Source: Herbert W. Tompkins: 'Companion into Suffolk' (Methuen, 1949), p.12.



Holy well


Once beside the road and traditionally used by pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St. Edmund at Bury, a 'holy well' can be found in the grounds of Ketton House, the former rectory (TL709464). A road diversion in modern times put it into the grounds beyond the driveway. Once over 4 feet deep, the spring with its rounded hood or cover of brick is said to have healing powers, and its supply has never been known to fail.





Dobbs' Grave


Where Kesgrave, Foxhall, Brightwell and Martlesham parishes meet is Dobbs' Grave, now marked as Dobbs' Corner (TM238453). Dobbs' Lane leads to it from the main Ipswich road. According to one legend, Dobbs was a shepherd in 1750 who hanged himself in a barn on Kesgrave Hall Farm (later Grange Farm), and was buried at the four crossways here with a stake through his heart. His grave was marked by concrete head and footstones, with a cross cut on the former, and these are now surrounded by a decorative iron fence after several acts of vandalism.

Some locals, after telling the story one night in the Bell Inn, decided to take a look for themselves. They opened the grave at midnight, and found the bones of a man with a wooden stake in his rib cage. Before refilling the hole, a man named Reeves from Bealings prized out a tooth and wore it the rest of his life on a watch chain.

Some have called this the grave of a highwayman who was left hanging beside the road as a warning to others, while some believe it belongs to a gypsy hanged for stealing sheep.



A. D. Hippisley Coxe: 'Haunted Britain' (Pan, 1973), p.109.

'East Anglian Miscellany', Vol.1909/1910, No.2692.

'East Anglian Magazine', Vol.2, p.496.

Robert Halliday: 'The Roadside Burial of Suicides: An East Anglian Study' in 'Folklore' Vol.121, No.1 (2010), p.86-7.





The shadowy phantom


In the garden of Church Cottage are two sections of flint and rubble wall, which are all that remain of St. Peter's church, Buxlow (TM41376310.) The former parish of that name was merged into Knodishall in 1721. According to local lore, a shadowy phantom has been to to emerge from the church ruins, cross the unmade track south of it, and disappear down into the large pond in the grounds of a nearby house. Some connection has been suggested with Buxlow Manow, about 250m away to the north-west, but that seems to rest solely on a map of 1826, where the house was named 'Ghost Hole'.


Source: https://griffmonster-walks.blogspot.com/knodishall