An age-old Portland myth has been given new life in a carving at the island’s sculpture park.

Stone worker Damien Briggs recently unveiled his carving of the Roy Dog, a mythical canine, at the Tout Quarry Sculpture Park at the peak of the peninsula.

Mr Briggs, 33, said he had been casting around for a subject for his commission from the quarry trust when his wife, Vicky, suggested the Roy Dog. “As soon as she said it, I knew it was right,” the sculptor said. “The quarry trust wanted something relating to Portland, so this was perfect.”

The Roy Dog - a mythical beast as high as a man, with large fiery eyes, one green and one red - was said to live at Cave Hole on the south-east side of the island, and would drag any traveller passing by into its watery lair.

The carving took Mr Briggs over a year, working in his spare time, carving the main head out of special Portland roach stone.

“There was a big cavern at the quarry that I could use for the sculpture,” he explained. “The cave - representing Cave Hole - was built from different bits of scrap I found around the quarry.”

Perhaps the most arresting feature of the work is the eyes; carved out of black granite, Mr Briggs added irises of different coloured resins, with a series of cuts coloured with a slightly different resin. This process was then repeated to give a painted effect. “I am very happy with the effect,” Mr Briggs said.

Mr Briggs, originally from Essex, has lived in Fortuneswell for some 18 years; moving to Dorset as a teenager, he attended stonecarving classes at Weymouth College before kicking off his career. He now works at Albion Stone on the island, and won Duke of Gloucester awards in 2009 and 2011 for his stonemasonry, which includes a model train rented for a while by Steven Gerrard’s father for his bar in Portugal, as well as a model of Britannia.

The carver says he is now looking for more commissions, especially for gravestones. “I get the granite from near where my mum lives in Essex, so I can keep costs down,” he said, revealing that he would charge only around £900 for a gravestone commission - compared with the more than £2000 some sculptors charge.