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The Lyme Regis Black Dog

This old story provides an explanation for the naming of the Black Dog Inn near Uplyme in Devon. The black dog seems to be a spirit guardian of treasure.

Near to Lyme Regis there was a farmhouse, which once formed part of a large mansion house destroyed during the English Civil War. The chimney, hearth and part of the roof of the farmhouse, were part of the surviving structure of the old mansion.

Some time ago probably in the 18th century, the apparition of a black dog started to appear by the hearth while the occupier was sitting next to the fire. The dog appeared almost every night and in the time the farm owner got used to its presence.

One day after taunts from his neighbours about the phantom, he came home drunk grabbed a poker and chased the dog into the attic. The dog disappeared through the attic ceiling and he lunged at it with the poker. The poker went straight through the roof, and an old fashioned box fell down from its hiding hole.

Inside the box were a great number of golden coins dating from the reign of Charles I. The farmer used the coins to purchase a house nearby, which he converted into a pub, naming it the Black Dog after the phantom hound.

From that time the dog never appeared in the house but haunted the lane by the farm at midnight, which became known as Dog Lane. Today, the lane is known as Haye Lane but, is still sometimes colloquially referred to as Dog Lane in respect of the legend. It is said the dog was seen in 1856 and also in the 1950s. There is a warning not to allow dogs to stray around the area as many are supposed to have disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

Image Copyright: 
Andy Paciorek

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