Wanted: Sussex Creatures Lore / Sightings (Cryptids; ABCs)

Road to Innsmouth

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Hello everyone hoping you can help? I'm looking for any Sussex legends or lore regarding Cryptids or ABCs that may not be well known or have made it in to magazines or found on the Internet easily the weirder the better.

Many thanks
 

Bullseye

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The dragon of St Leonards Forest ,on the East West border. Too many ABC's to mention, almost every market town has one. I know two chaps that are as good naturalists as I am, one regularly saw puma, the other puma and lynx. Big hairy man, Friston Forest. The Sussex Serpent, Boreham Street. There's a few to get on with, if you want to include Kent as well you'll be busy for a long time.
 

lordmongrove

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Dragons of Sussex

Lyminster
Here we have dragon legend of which three different versions exist. The dragon was known as the Knucker and inhabited a supposedly bottomless pool known as the Knucker hole.

In the first version, the dragon was terrorizing the area and had eaten all the maidens in the area, leaving only the King of Sussex’s daughter. The King offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone who could deliver her from the dragon’s jaws. A wandering knight took up the challenge and slew the beast.

Others say it was a local lad named Jim Puttock who fed the dragon an indigestible pudding, then killed it whilst it was indisposed with a bout of bellyache! He got some of the dragon’s blood on his hand and, after wiping his mouth after a celebratory pint of beer, Puttock died.

In the third variation, Jim baked a poisoned pie so huge it needed a horse and cart to transport it to the Knucker hole. The dragon ate the pie, the cart, and the horse, and subsequently died.

Knucker is believed to derive from nikyr, Old Norse for water monster.

St Leonard’s Forest
This wild briar is a part of the once vast forest of the Weald. St Leonard himself was supposed to have fought a dragon in its depths. Where the Saint’s blood fell patches of lily-of the valley sprung up.

In 1614 another type of dragon appeared in the forest, a limbless worm some nine feet long that killed both man and beast with poison, and which for a while became infamous in the area. It was said to raise up its head and look in an arrogant manner about itself. It sounds very much like a cobra, possibly brought back from abroad by a traveller or merchant and which subsequently got free.

Cissbury
A prehistoric earthwork on the South Downs is supposed to contain a huge treasure horde. A tunnel reputedly runs from the earthwork to Offington Hall, two miles away. In the 1860s the owner of the hall offered half the treasure to anyone who could clear out the tunnel and find the horde. Several people tried but were driven back by huge snakes that sprang hissing at them with open mouths.

Bignor
A huge worm wrapped itself around Bignor hill and left the imprint of its coils on the hill.

Fittleworth
As recently as 1867 a worm was supposed to reside here and rush out hissing at anyone who passed by its lair.
 
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