The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Brockford Giant

There have been some wonderful and mysterious Archaeological finds in the past. One wishes that our ancestors had been somewhat more careful in recording them than seems to have been the case. In East Anglia, no finds have been more odd than the Brockfield Giant. It may have been a hoax, but unlike the Cardiff Giant, there seems little attempt at financial gain. Burials in the road were not unusual in the case of suicides or executed criminals, but a 10 foot skeleton goes beyond what is humanly possible (around 8 ft.)

we get the story from a letter written in November 1651:

'Loving Brother -
thought it worthy my writing to you, what this other day was discovered to many here the like of which few of our Predecessors have seen. For here, near the place of your Nativity, at Brockford Bridge, at the end of the street towards Ipswich, by the gravelly way, between the Lands lace (our cosen Rivets) John Vice and another were digging gravell in the Rode, and a litde within the earth found the carcase of a Giant (for so I think I may term him) for from top of his skull to the bottom of the bones of his feet was ten foot, and over-thwart his brest, from the ultimate of one shoulder to the other as he lay interred, and before stirring was four feet. His scull of the bignesse neer of an half bushell, the circumference of one of his thigh bones of the bigness of a middle-sized woman's wast, the nether jaw bone had in it firmly fixed 16 teeth of an extraordinary bignesse, the other none.
When the finding of this wonder of men was noised abroad, many of the people of the adjacent Townes resorted to see it, and divers out of mere folly, I think, than discretion, broke the skeleton to gain part, or small pieces of bones, to brag they had part of him.
Severall are the opinions of men in judging what time this man lived; some think him to be a Dane, others imagine he might belong to Prince Arthur, but for my part I shall suspend my judgement, and leave it to wiser men; only thus much I think I may say that there ham not lived such a man in England this hundred years: his head lay near a quarter of a yard lower than his feet, and the superficres of the earth was worn down within neer an handfull of his shin bones. He was buried North and South, his head to Ipswich-ward and his feet towards Norwich.
It may be you may say I might have employed my time better than in troubling you with this letter, but I assure you of the truth of this, and the wonder of the thing commanded me to impart thus much unto you.
Your loving brother I. G.


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