According to one legend, John Dobbs was a shepherd in 1750 who hanged himself in a barn on Kesgrave Hall Farm (later Grange Farm), and was buried at the four crossways here with a stake through his heart. His grave was marked by concrete head and footstones, with a cross cut on the former, and these are now surrounded by a decorative iron fence after several acts of vandalism.
Records show that twins, James and Henry, were born to an Ann Dobbs and her husband John and baptised at Kesgrave on 18th April 1721. Ann died shortly after this date and buried on April 26th the two boys also dying on August 31st and September 12th respectively. John remarried a Mary Minter on August 22nd.
Some locals, after telling the story one night in the Bell Inn, decided to take a look for themselves. They opened the grave at midnight, and found the bones of a man with a wooden stake in his rib cage. Before refilling the hole, a man named Reeves from Bealings prized out a tooth and wore it the rest of his life on a watch chain.
Some have called this the grave of a highwayman who was left hanging beside the road as a warning to others, while some believe it belongs to a gypsy hanged for stealing sheep.
A. D. Hippisley Coxe: 'Haunted Britain' (Pan, 1973), p.109.
'East Anglian Miscellany', Vol.1909/1910, No.2692.
'East Anglian Magazine', Vol.2, p.496. Robert Halliday:
'The Roadside Burial of Suicides: An East Anglian Study' in 'Folklore' Vol.121, No.1 (2010), p.86-7.
Last update on Tuesday 24 Jul 2018 by Alan Comber.