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Barnoldby le Beck


The Churchyard of St Helen’s in Barnoldby le Beck and the fields and surrounding the village have been said to be haunted by a Shag-Foal, a rough coated goblin horse, described as a cross between a black dog and a horse.

According to County Folk-lore by Gutch and Peacock (1908) ‘Barnoldby-le-Beck. Shag-foal. An old lady used to talk of a mysterious phantom like an animal of deep black colour, which appeared before belated travellers. On hearing that we had been attacked at midnight by a large dog, she eagerly inquired, “Had it any white about it?” and when we assured her that it had a white chest, she exclaimed in thankfulness, “Ah! Then it was not the shag-foal!”

According to the glossary of Lincolnshire and the Danes (1884) by G S Streatfield 'Shag-boy also Shag-foal = a ghost ; the shag-foal is so-called, because supposed to be like that animal….For Lincolnshire use of shag-boy, see In the Country, Essays by Rev. M. G. Watkins, Rector of Barnoldby-le-Beck.'  So it would appear that the Rector of Barnoldby-le-Beck in the late 19th century had an interest in folklore.

Giants Grave
Gutch and Peacock (1908) also cite ‘In the Country’ by Rev Watkins as a source and go to mention a mound referred to as the Giants Grave. ‘Along the High Street, above Adam's Head, runs a long detached mound called the Giant's Grave. After lying for generations in neglect a neighbouring farmer ploughed and sowed wheat upon it; but nothing came up. Not to be beaten he next year planted potatoes on it; not one ever grew. In despair it is now abandoned to the grass and moss with which it has for centuries been clothed by boon nature.’


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