Cannard's grave

Shepton Mallet

Giles Cannard was reputedly the landlord of a hostelry about one mile south of Shepton Mallet. By day he was a respectable host, well known throughout the local area, running a popular staging post for travellers between Bristol and the south.

His wealth however, was not gained solely by honourable means for, despite his outwardly respectable appearance, he was involved in considerable clandestine activities.

According to one account dated 1662, the rector of Shepton, The Rev H. Allen, notes that rumours abounded about Cannards involvement with smuggling, gambling, illegal drinking and profanities. Further tales are told about him intoxicating his guests with the specific aim of robbing them whilst they slept, and even in some cases murdering them, later claiming that they departed his care in good health.

Overcome by greed Cannard eventually resorted to forgery, which, because of its poor quality was readily discovered. Finding no escape and fearing public humiliation he repaired to his own loft where he took his own life.

After being cut down he was interred at the crossroads adjacent to where his pub stands.


The pub (which now bears his name ....Cannard's Grave) lies a short distance south of Shepton Mallet on the Castle Cary road. The actual burial site is believed to be at the adjacent crossroads