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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Westleton and the Devil

St Peter's Church, Westleton, Suffolk dates back to about 1300. Local legends claim that Old Nick lives below a small grating near a door in the church. Nearby is a 14th century fallen gravestone known as the ‘Witches’ Stone’. It is claimed that grass will never grow over it. 

It is said that if you put a piece of straw in the grating and run round the church seven times, anti-clockwise, the straw will either vanish or you'll hear the Devil rattling his chains below the surface. However, you must never look at the grating until the end of your run!

A local told me it was likely that the story was invented by smugglers to deter locals from visiting the churchyard at night. Smugglers are believed to have used the crypt to hide contraband from the revenue men.

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