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The History of Bungay

Posted on 14 April 2011 by Mark

From Roman Battalions to ghostly black dogs the town of Bungay in Suffolk has an immensely interesting history.

The history of Bungay was very much alive from the time of the Romans. Its high position and protection by the river Waveney made it a brilliant military stronghold.

The Roman empire used Bungay as an important military station, with several Roman artefacts having been found in the area.

After the Romans came the Saxons and Normans. Both tribes created extensive settlements with the latter building Bungay Castle.

Yet an important part of Bungay history is much darker. The tale of Black Shuck is a famous legend all over the Suffolk and Norfolk coastline. The large black dog is said to roam the coastline and broads. The size of a horse with red eyes like saucers would surely be a scary sight.

Other folklores tell of the Black Shuck floating on a carpet of mist. Whatever the tale the Black Shuck is cemented in Suffolk history, and importantly in that of Bungay.

On the 4th August 1577 the ghostly hound was said to have killed two people and injured another in Bungay. On the very same night it was believed to visit the holy trinity church in Blythburgh, Suffolk, where it was rumoured to collapse the church tower and leave scorch marks that can be seen today.

The legend is very much alive today and provides a great tale for visiting tourists of Bungay and the surrounding areas. Lowestoft band The Darkness even wrote the song ‘Black Shuck’ about the beast. And every year runners take part in the Black Dog Run, with this years event on Sunday 10th April.

By 1688 Bungay had almost been destroyed by a fire in the area, yet today stands as a great place to visit in the Suffolk area.

Many historians and figures have lived in Bungay. Today its most famous resident is Julian Assange, the world famous internet activist known for WikiLeaks.

For a small town, Bungay has a huge history. Its many tales will make a brilliant start to any trip, so watch out for the Black Shuck and take a trip to Bungay this spring and summer.

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