Two things intrigue visitors on entering the centre of Bungay. The Buttercross, a domed building which was used at one time as a prison with a dungeon below. Nowadays it is the site of a weekly market and somewhere safe to run in the event of a sudden rainstorm!

The other object of interest is a preoccupation with Black Dogs. There’s a post topped by a black dog in the centre of the road outside the Three Tuns, the name Black Dog crops up in numerous local organisations names and there’s the legend.

Legend has it that at the town’s St Mary’s Church a fiery dog, the black dog, an apparition of the devil himself appeared and raged thru the church during a violent storm in 1577. Several local members of the congregation were apparently killed before the dog flew off to Blythburgh where it did the same thing leaving deep scorch marks on the church door there. It is believed that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used the legend as the basis for his Sherlock Holmes story “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.

The main industry in the town for many years has been printing, Richard Clay’s are well known for printing bibles and in most recent years all of the Harry Potter books.

The town of Bungay can be traced back to 1165 when a castle was built here.

What to do
Visit the Bigod’s Castle. Just a few minutes walk from the present day town centre you will find the ruins of the ancient Norman Bungay Castle. Built by Feudal Lord Hugh Bigod around 1165. All that remains today are the foundations up to the level of the ground floor windows and two towers. There is a small visitor centre, gift shop and cafe. The River Waveney practically surrounds Bungay like a giant moat, therefore it was an ideal site for a castle. Visitor Centre tel: 01986 896156.

Bungay Museum. Based at the Council Offices in Broad Street. Contains items of interest about the town’s history. Tel: 01986 892176

St Peter’s Brewery. Located at nearby St Peter’s, South Elmham. Offering both restaurant or brewery tours. Tel: 01986 782332.

Waveney Valley Indoor Swimming Pool. Excellent swimming pool on the edge of town, follow signposts to Halesworth. Tel: 01986 895014.

Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum. Based at nearby Flixton (once again very well signposted from Bungay). Free admission, donations welcome.

Bungay & Waveney Golf Club. Excellent course situated at the towns Outney Meadow Common Land. Tel: 01986 892337.

Rent a boat or canoe and explore the Waveney – Outney Meadow, Tel. 01986 892338.