There could soon be a large bronze sculpture of a mythical dog in the middle of a Herefordshire town.

The plan, by local arts group Marches Makers, is to set up the “larger than life-size” sculpture in front of Kington Museum in the town’s Mill Street.

The inspiration is the local legend of Sir Thomas ‘Black’ Vaughan of nearby Hergest Court, whose elaborate tomb lies in Kington’s St Mary’s church.

Beheaded in battle, “as his head hit the ground, a bloodcurdling howling could be heard as his black bloodhound scooped up the head and set off back to Hergest Court”, the official Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire promotional website for the county says.

He continued to torment the area “in the form of a dog, man, black bull and even a fly to torment horses”, the planning application adds.

His spirit was eventually exorcised, trapped in fly form inside a snuff box and cast into a pool in the manor house grounds, the legend says.


The bronze dog, designed by local artist Rachel Ricketts, will be around five feet long and four feet high, and will have a snuff box around his neck, in a nod to the legend.

It will stand upon a three-feet-high sandstone plinth quarried locally at the nearby Gore Quarry, donated by quarry owner Tarmac.

According to the application, his pose shows “he’s clearly keen on setting out for a walk and hopes to encourage others to do so” – reinforcing the town’s status as a centre for walking.

The plan has the support of Kington Town Council, Kington Museum and previous Sheriff of Herefordshire Jo Hilditch.

“All being well, it is hoped to unveil the sculpture to tie in with the annual walking festival and initiatives in September,” the application says.

Funding has been secured from the National Lottery Community fund as well as the Elmley Foundation, which supports the arts in Herefordshire.