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Monday, 10 February 2014

Dorset Folklore 2-The Woodwose

Should you meet a big, hairy bloke shambling down a Dorset lane, more likely than not he is just a Real Ale bore.
Should you be in the vicinity of Yellowham Woods, near the county town of Dorchester and he picks up your wife and carries her off, then maybe you've met a Woodwose.
The Woodwose is Dorset's very own version of Bigfoot and like Bigfoot, blurry sightings continue to this day. 
The first part of his name is obvious while 'wose' is probably Old English for 'being'.
Woods have always been places of mystery so it's no surprise that legends of hirsute wild men stretch back thousands of years. The Woodwose also had an unfortunate tendency to impregnate the village girls he stole, making him the perfect scapegoat for that night of hanky panky.

The legend of wild men appear across Europe. Here on a German coin of 1629

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