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Dragons Gazetteer

All Saints Church, Nunnington and the Dragon of Loschy Wood

The following account of the legend of the Dragon of Loschy Hill was detailed in the 1888 book ‘Yorkshire Legends and Traditions’ by Rev Thomas Parkinson who quoted his source as being an article entitled Serpent Legends of Yorkshire from the Leisure Hour (May 1878). Read More »

The Bamburgh Laidly

The Laidly (Northumbrian for loathsome) worm was once a beautiful princess named Margaret, who lived in Bamburgh Castle. Her stepmother was a witch who, due to jealousy, cast a spell changing the princess into a huge worm. The worm’s breath caused vegetation to shrivel, and it demanded the milk of seven cows every day. Read More »

Bedd-yr-Afanc

Bedd-yr-Afanc means the monsters grave, the Afanc being a name commonly given to a water monster in Wales. The grave is actually the only Bronze Age Gallery Grave in Wales and dates from around 1500BC. Just two rows of parallel stones survive. According to legend the Afanc used to dwell in a pool by Brynberian Bridge, and was captured and killed then buried in this mound on the hillside. Read More »

Blue Ben of Kilve

A dragon called Blue Ben resided here and was supposedly the steed of the devil. He fell from a causeway of rocks and drowned in the mud. His skull (actually a fossil Ichthyosaur) was uncovered and is on display in the local museum.

The above was taken from an article by Richard Freeman.

Brent Pelham and Piers Shonks

‘A mighty dragon made its lair under the roots of an ancient yew tree and wrought havoc in the surrounding countryside. Piers Shonks, Lord of the Manor of Pelham, fought it accompanied by three huge hounds. He finally triumphed by thrusting a long spear down the dragon’s throat. Read More »

British Dragon Gazetteer

Long Wyrm

No other country on earth has such rich dragon lore as the British Isles. Our tiny little homeland is crawling with legends of these beasts. If you have ever wondered if there is a dragon legend close to where you live, then take a look at the following list. Read More »

Cadbury Castle

This large hillfort has a plethora of traditions attached to it, most notably that it is the site of the legendary Camelot, the stronghold of Arthur. There is a distinct possibility that the historical Arthur - probably a sixth century war leader - had his base here, as the Iron Age hillfort was reoccupied and refortified around this time. Read More »

Chance To Be Part Of Project Albion

ASSAP (The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) in partnership with Mysterious Britain & Ireland is opening up its long running Project Albion to enable members of the public to directly contribute towards it. Read More »

Dalry Dragon

The worm here was white in colour and this legend may have inspired Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Lair of the White Worm’. It wound itself around Mote Hill and got up to the usual tricks.   A local blacksmith made a suit of armour covered with retractable spikes. Read More »

Dinas Emrys

Dinas Emrys

The legendary stronghold of Vortigern, and the place where the young prophet Merlin revealed the fighting dragons.  In legend there are two characters associated with the same story with slight variations. One is Vortigern, the Dark Age ruler who let the Saxons into the country, and was responsible in part for their later invasions. Read More »

The Dragon in Folklore & Legend

Long Wyrm

The dragon is a legendary creature, which is prevalent to the mythic culture of many countries. Britain, with its diverse history, has a tradition of dragons stemming from Saxon, Celtic and Norse influences, as well as those from further afield. What follows is a brief overview of the dragon in legend and folklore, as well as some theories as to what the dragon may signify. Read More »

Dragon of Aller

The dragon of Aller was a terrifying beast. It spat both fire and venom and flew on vast leathery wings. It lived in a hillside cave just outside of Aller and, as western dragons are want to do, laid waste to the land. Read More »

Filey Brigg

Filey Brigg is a long ridge of rocks jutting into the North Sea, associated with folklore concerning the Devil and a dragon. Read More »

Handale Priory, Scaw and the Serpent

Writing in 1888, Rev Thomas Parkinson in his 'Yorkshire Legends and Traditions' gives the following account of the death of the Handale Serpent. 'In ancient times these quiet woods were infested by a huge serpent, possessed of most singular fascinating powers, which used to beguile young damsels from the paths of truth and duty, and afterwards feed on their dainty limbs. Read More »

The Helston Flurry Dance

8th May - The Helston Flurry Dance takes place, where Helstonians take part in a pagan ritual processional dance through the town in a custom that pre-dates Christianity and probably dates back to Celtic times. The dance takes place each eighth of May unless it falls on a Sunday or Monday and was probably originally a fertility or Spring festival. Read More »

Here Be Dragons And Ghosts...The Coiled Serpent And Otherworld Hoodies

Drakelow

Drakelow in Worcestershire derives its name from a mythological creature - the dragon. The word for dragon in Germanic mythology and its descendants is worm (Old English: wyrm, Old High German: wurm, Old Norse: ormr), meaning snake or serpent. In Old English wyrm means "serpent", draca means "dragon" (Skeat). Read More »

Here Is The Story Of Llud And Llevelys

The Story of Llud and Llevelys appears in the The Mabinogion and here is the translation published by Lady Charlotte Guest (1877). Read More »

In Search of British Dragons

Dragon 1

The dragon is the great, great grandfather of all monsters. Before the daemon, before the vampire, before the werewolf, before the giant. Before them all was the original uber-monster the dragon. The dragon's image has crawled across cave paintings 25,000 years old, dwarfing mammoths. It has slithered across Chinese rock art in Shanxi province 8000 years before Christ. Read More »

Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky

From 'Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There' 1872

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe. Read More »

Kingston St Mary Dragon

A savage fire-breathing dragon terrorized this area until a champion came forth to tackle it. The hero rolled a boulder up a hill opposite to the dragon’s lair and shouted out to the monster. As the dragon emerged, jaws agape, the champion rolled the boulder down into its open maw, choking it before it could roast him with a jet of flame. Read More »

Knucker Of Lyminster

Lyminster has a dragon legend of which three different versions exist. The dragon was known as the Knucker and inhabited a supposedly bottomless pool known as the Knucker Hole and is situated just to the north of Lyminster. Read More »

La Hogue Bie

La Hogue Bie

La Hogue Bie is a major Neolitic ritual site dating back to 3500BC and one of the best preserved cruciform passage graves in Europe. Its passage is twenty meters long and is covered by a 12.2 meter high earth mound. The mound istelf is 58 meters in diameter and covers an area of 2400 square meters. Read More »

Lake Bala

Llyn Tegid

Llyn Tegid is Wales’s largest lake being nearly four miles long. It lies in a rift valley running north east to south west, extending down to the sea at Tywyn. The lake is 529 feet above sea level, has a maximum depth of 136 feet and covers an area of 1084 acres. Read More »

The Lambton Worm and Penshaw Hill

The Lambton Worm

Around the time of the crusades (in some accounts) in the area around the river Wear, there is a tale told about a fearsome dragon, which terrorised the area and was dispatched with cunning by a brave warrior. Read More »

The Linton Worm

During the twelfth century a worm lived in a hollow on the Northeast side of Linton Hill (called Worms Den today). Read More »

Llyn Barfog (The Bearded Lake)

Llyn Barfog is situated in high countryside above the northern banks of the River Dyfi. The lake is isolated, small, and covered with yellow water lilies in the summer. Sir John Rhys in Celtic Folklore suggests that it was originally called Llyn-y-Barfog (The Bearded One’s Lake) referring to some ancient mythical being who would have lived there. Read More »

Llyn Cau

Llyn Cau

The glacial lake of Llyn Cau at Cader Idris is said to be bottomless and according to tradition it is thought to be the home of a lake monster responsible for drowning a man who went swimming in the cold waters. Read More »

Llyn Glaslyn (Lake of the Blue Spring)

At 1,970 feet above sea level, and covering an area of 18 acres Llyn Glaslyn is one of the glacial lakes of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon), and being the highest and remotest of the larger lakes it abounds in legend. Read More »

Loch Maree

Until the middle of the 18th century bulls were sacrificed on August 25th (St Maerlrubha’s Day) to dragons that dwelt in the lake. These may have been akin to the creatures still reported in other Scottish Lochs to this day.

Taken from an article by Richard Freeman.

The Longwitton Dragon

In a wood near to the town of Longwitton there are three wells reputed to have healing powers. The waters were used far and wide for healing purposes. Read More »

Manaton Dragon

A winged dragon made its lair in an old tin mine here. The dragon’s hissing was said to be audible for miles around. It was finally slain in the mine but history does not record by whom. The story was recorded by the late 18th century writer Polwhele. 

Monsterous Serpent of Henham

Robert or should this be William Winstantley of Saffron Walden wrote a pamphlet titled 'The Flying Serpent or Strange News Out of Essex - A True Relation of a Monsterous Serpent seen at Henham on the Mount in Saffron Walden,’ published in 1699. Part of the text concerning this dragon is repeated below. Read More »

Mordiford Wyvern

The story of the Mordiford wyvern is one of the most detailed dragon legends in Britain; it is also the one with the most variations, having no less than five. Read More »

Nine Maidens Well, Strathmartine

As with the dragon that was associated with it, very little remains of the Nine Maidens Well at Strathmartine, as the farmer upon whose land it could be found had the well covered up to stop it’s visitors from trampling his crops. Read More »

Norton Fitzwarren Dragon

Here the Roman general Ostorius was said to have killed hundreds of ancient Britons. Over the centuries a dragon is said to have grown from the corruption of the rotting bodies (this spontaneous growth of creatures from rotting matter was a common belief in Medieval times). Read More »

Oilliphéist

In ‘Irish Myths and Legends’ by Ronan Coghlan, we are told that Oilliphéist, is an Irish word meaning ‘dragon’ or ‘great worm’, and that ‘a creature of this sort, hearing that Saint Patrick was coming to drive out its kind, cuts its way through the land, thus forming the River Shannon.’ The Shannon is 224 miles long and the is Ireland's longe Read More »

Padstow Hobby Horse (Oss)

1st May - The festival starts at midnight in the early hours of Mayday. The actual Hobby Horse is a hoop covered with black material with an African mask, and a horses head with snapping jaws. A man stands inside the hoop and the procession parades around the town. The festival has ancient origins. Read More »

River Taff Worm

A worm type of dragon was supposed to live at the bottom of a whirlpool in the River Taff. It was said to drown people and suck down their bodies to eat.

The above was taken from an article by Richard Freeman.

Saffron Walden Basilisk

The pamphlet that deals with the Henham winged serpent also relates the story of a basilisk dragon that held siege to Saffron Walden centuries before. It was described as: Read More »

Shervage Wood

Shervage Wood has is home to a number of traditions, perhaps because it was once perceived as being enchanted. In legend and folklore the wood was the home of a dragon known as The Gurt Vurm of Shervage Wood. The dragon was said to have the girth of at least three mature oak trees, and was the bane of the local villages eating cattle and making a general nuisance of itself. Read More »

Snowdon

Snowdon 1

Standing 3650 ft above sea level, Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales, second highest mountain in Britain and is also probably the busiest due to it popularity with hillwalkers. Read More »

Sockburn

Sockburn village now comprises of a ruined church, a farmhouse and a mansion called Sockburn Hall (built in 1834) all positioned within a loop in the River Tees known locally as Sockburn Peninsula. Sockburn has an amazing secret history though, as it is a place where bishops were crowned, a dragon was killed and some of our greatest writers fell in love. Read More »

Solway Firth Worm

According to legend a sea dwelling worm devoured fish stocks that the local people depended on. Not satisfied with seafood, it crawled ashore to eat farm animals and humans. People from the villages along the shore built a huge palisade of sharpened stakes and erected it at low tide. When the worm came in with the high tide it impaled itself on the spikes. Read More »

St Albans Abbey

St Alban's Abbey

St Albans has a multitude of ghosts and strange stories, many of which are attached to the magnificent abbey. St Albans has been occupied from very early in its history, the Roman town of Verulamium once stood in the valley, in the area where the public park now lies. Read More »

St George's Day

St George

Today St George’s Day is not celebrated in England with anywhere near the vigour it was in past centuries, and is actually celebrated more in other countries that share his patronage, with traditions that have not been broken for hundreds of years. Read More »

St Osyth's Dragon

There is a tradition that a Dragon prowled the area around St Osyth in the 12th Century. According to Sir Richard Baker (born 1568 – died 18 February 1645) 'In the seventeenth year of his (King Henry II) reign, there was seen at St. Read More »

The Gwiber of Penmachno

Penmachmo

The word "gwiber" in Welsh means viper or adder but many centuries ago the word actually meant "flying snake" . This is the story of how Wibernant (meaning "valley of the gwiber) which is near Penmachno got its name. Read More »

The Slingsby Serpent

In 1619 the antiquary Roger Dodsworth (born 1585 – died 1654) gave an early account of the dragon: ‘The tradition is that between Malton and this town there was some time a serpent, that lived upon prey of passengers, and which this Wyvill and his dog did kill, when he received his death-wound. Read More »

The Worm Of Sexhow

The Worm of Sexhow, according to ‘Yorkshire Legends and Traditions’ by Rev Thomas Parkinson (1888): ’Sexhow is a small hamlet or township in the parish of Rudby, some four miles from the town of Stokesley, in Cleveland. Upon a round knoll at this place a most pestilent dragon, or worm, took up its abode; whence it came, or what was its origin, no one knew. Read More »

Uffington White Horse and Dragon Hill

Uffington White Horse

The White Horse of Uffington is one of the most impressive sites close to the ancient Ridgeway path, which traverses the steep chalk downs brooding over the Vale of the White Horse. Other sites include Dragon Hill, The Manger and Uffington Castle, which have been the subject of legend and folklore for over a thousand years. Read More »

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