Cullow Pit

On the boundaries of the parishes of Southwood and Moulton, Norfolk, is a pit called 'Cullow Pit,' but by the inhabitants 'Cullee Pit.' The village tradition states that an iron chest filled with gold is engulfed in this pit. The story is as follows:

"Many years ago two adventurous men, availing themselves of an unusually low state of the water, determined to obtain the treasure. Having formed a platform of ladders across the pit, they were so far successful that they inserted a staff through the 'ringle,' (in plain English, the ring), in the lid of the chest, and bore it up from the waters, and placed the staff on their shoulders, preparatory to bearing off their prize on their temporary bridge. Unluckily, however, one of them triumphantly exclaimed, 'We've got it safe, and the devil himself can't get it from us.' Instantly the pit was enveloped in a 'roke' (reek, or cloud of steam,) of a strong sulphurous smell; and a black hand and arm — no doubt belonging to the personage thus gratuitously challenged — emerged from the water, and grasped the chest. A terrible struggle ensued; one party tugging to secure, the other to recover the prize. At last the contest ended by its subject parting, being unable to bear the enormous strain on it. The chest, with the treasure, sank beneath the water, never again to be seen by mortal eye; while the bold adventurers — who had not indeed met with the reward due to their daring — carried off nothing but the 'ringle,' which they placed on Southwood church door, which it still serves to close; and where the incredulous may convince himself of the truth of the legend by beholding it."

It is also said that a headless horseman still rides at midnight from Callow Pit to a place called Cantley Spong, which is about a mile away. A similar story of the pit is told about a "silver well" in Shouldham, in West Norfolk.



  • Rye, W., ed.(1877). The Norfolk Antiquarian Miscellany. Vol. 2. Norwich: Samuel Miller and Co., pp. 290-291.