In my 2012 book, Wildman! The Monstrous and Mysterious Saga of the British Bigfoot, I tell the strange story of the bizarre beast of Orford, Suffolk.
In telling the tale, I include the weird text of a monk and an abbot at Coggeshall, Essex (first name Ralph, last name long lost to the fog of time). Recorded in the year 1200 in Chronicon Anglicanum, Ralph's words describe the capture in the area of a wild man of the woods-style creature.
According to Ralph:
"In the time of King Henry II, when Bartholomew de Glanville was in charge of the castle at Orford, it happened that some fishermen fishing in the sea there caught in their nets a Wildman. He was naked and was like a man in all his members, covered with hair and with a long shaggy beard. He eagerly ate whatever was brought to him, but if it was raw he pressed it between his hands until all the juice was expelled. He would not talk, even when tortured and hung up by his feet, Brought into church, he showed no sign of reverence or belief. He sought his bed at sunset and always remained there until sunrise. He was allowed to go into the sea, strongly guarded with three lines of nets, but he dived under the nets and came up again and again. Eventually he came back of his own free will. But later on he escaped and was never seen again."
And there ends the 800-year-old-plus extract.
But there's a reason why I am mentioning this now:. Some time ago, Charlotte Perez Smith visited the old castle at Orford where the wild man was said to have been held all those centuries ago.
Charlotte also took a number of pictures while she was there, which she has sent to me, and kindly let me reproduce for you here.
And here they are...