Wolf returns to Hunstanton cliffs
PUBLISHED: 10:48 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 28 August 2019
A wooden wolf which commemorates a blood-curdling legend has returned to its cliff-top lair.
The carved creature had stood guarding the ruins of St Edmund's Chapel at Hunstanton for more than a decade.
But parts of its base were rotting and one of its legs had cracked. So retired builder Mick Smith, 72, and fellow volunteers from the town's heritage centre took the animal off for repairs in Mr Smith's garage.
Three weeks later Mr Smith and retired carpenter Tony Armstrong, 75, brought it home.
"It's had loads and loads of preservative, I've put straps under it and dowels in the base," said Mr Smith. "It was full of woodlice and earwigs, they were still coming out of it after two weeks.
"This has caused so much interest, people have been asking me 'what's that' when they see it in my garage, so I told them that's the wolf."
Mr Smith - whose nickname around town is now Wolfy - admitted restoring the creature had been a labour of love as he bolted it down to its plinth.
The wolf, carved out of a section if oak trunk by artist Jean Mulligan, commemorates the legend of the martyr King Edmund.
He is said to have brought Christianity to the region when he waded ashore at Hunstanton to claim the kingdom of East Anglia in 854AD.
But the Vikings had other ideas and attacked Norfolk in 869, led by the fearsome Ivar the Boneless. Edmund and his forces engaged them near Diss but were defeated by the Danes.
Edmund was tortured and shot by many arrows. When he refused to renounce his faith, his captors beheaded him and his head was thrown down in the forest.
Edmund's followers later found his body on a rubbish tip and went looking for his head so he could be given a decent burial.
They found a wolf guarding it, to prevent it being scavenged and took it away to be buried.