Dead Maids Crossroads, Black Dog Woods & Black Dog Hill , Wiltshire

How did these areas get their names?

Dead Maids Crossroads, Black Dog Woods & Black Dog Hill , Wiltshire How did these areas get their names?

According to local folklore, Dead maids crossroads was due to a local lady who was being pursued by 2 suitors. These 2 men were adamant each was the best suitor for this lady. It eventually was agreed that these men would have a duel, to finally decide who would marry this lady.

 The man who was shot dead in the duel, was the owner of a black dog. When this dog saw his master's dead body, the dog turned on the other man, killing him. The lady who now had no suitors, succumbed to taking her own life, so was buried at the crossroads, as was so common for deaths by suicide. So this was how the crossroads got its name. What happened to the dog has not been recorded but it has been said the dog also died and is said to haunt the nearby woods so these woods were named Black Dog Woods.

There is another piece of folklore that could explain why there is a hill Black Dog Hill in the local vicinity of Dead maids crossroads and Black Dog woods. It was said a highwayman would rob travellers on the A36. Whilst he hid, waiting for the coaches, his faithful black dog would attack the drivers, by going for their necks so that the coach would come to a stop, allowing highwayman to easily loot the passengers. 

The A36 is a pretty straight road but at the time of this highwayman's criminal activities, the road would wind up and around Black Dog hill, so it was easier for him to carry out his dastardly deeds by being able to hide on the many bends of the road.