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Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Dragons in the Landscape (and in the flesh)


An old woodcut of a knight on horseback slaying a dragon.

Dragon of Aller

Location: Low Ham (Somerset) - Church
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The church is home to a spear that was used to kill a local dragon which lived in Athelney Fens - the creature snacked on the local livestock until a local hero bore arms against the beast.


An old woodcut of a dragon as it fights and eats a snake.

Dragon's Home

Location: Ludham (Norfolk) - Ruins of St Benet's Abbey
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local legend says that a dragon once moved to the vault here after local people prevented the creature from entering its former home in a hill.


An old postcard showing the town of Ludlow.

Dragon's Den

Location: Ludlow (Shropshire) - Exact location not known
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1344
Further Comments: A Saracen arrived in the area and sought permission from the Earl to kill the dragon which was poisoning the area. The Earl agreed and the Saracen was successful in defeating the beast. What happened to the Saracen is unclear, but the Earl gained possession of the dragon's gold.

Knuckler

Location: Lyminster (Sussex) - Knucker Hole, and Arun valley (hunting ground)
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The dragon, known as Knuckler, which lived here only came out of its hole to eat the local population and their livestock. It was killed by a heroic knight who is now buried in the local church.

Dragon's Mine

Location: Manaton (Devon) - Unknown tin mine
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A winged lizard set up its lair in an old tin mine and its hissing heard for miles around. The dragon was killed in the pit, but no one appears to have wanted to take credit.


An old woodcut of a dragon wearing a crown while sitting in flames.

The Mordiford Dragon

Location: Mordiford (Hereford & Worcester) - Village and surrounding countryside
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Raised in secret by a local lass after she found the creature on the roadside, this dragon grew up and began to eat the locals and their livestock; the beast never touched its surrogate mother. The creature was finally killed, though the stories differ to whom carried out the slaying.


Some dragon's eyes are easy to hit.

Slain Dragon

Location: Moston (Cheshire) - Exact location unknown
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local story tells of how Sir Thomas Venables shot and killed a dragon here by shooting an arrow into the eye, just as it picked up a small child to eat.

Terror of Mull

Location: Mull (Argyll and Bute) - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A fearsome dragon terrorised the island until a hero appeared and killed the beast with the inventive use of barrels with big spikes attached to them. This story and the dragon tale told of Mull are strikingly similar.


An old postcard of Nant Gwynant in Wales.

Red Dragon

Location: Nant Gwynant (Gwynedd) - Lake hidden under hillside
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Not Known
Further Comments: It was at this site that Vortigern, King of the Britons, encountered a red dragon and a white dragon fighting in a deep underground. The white dragon fled, leaving the red dragon victorious - the king took the creature to be his emblem.

Impenetrable Dragon

Location: Newcastle Emlyn (Dyfed) - Ruined castle in the area (may no longer be standing)
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A dragon whose armoured scales rendered it virtually invincible was killed by a soldier who managed to shoot the creature in its one weak spot - up the bottom. When the dragon's body hit the nearby river venom gushed out, killing all fish.

Fulk's Fire Breather

Location: Norton Fitzwarren (Somerset) - Norton Camp hillfort
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Thirteenth century
Further Comments: Born from a pile of decaying bodies left in the hillfort, this creature was finally killed by the brave knight Fulk Fitzwartine.

Self-Healing Dragon

Location: Nunnington (Yorkshire) - Exact location unknown - Loschy Hill?
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The dragon which set up home near here possessed the ability to heal itself and spit poison. It was finally defeated by Sir Peter Loschy and his dog; as Sir Peter cut pieces of the monster off, the dog picked the segments up and ran away with them. Alas, the knight also died when his dog jumped up and licked his face in celebration, rubbing some of the dragon's poison on to his master.

Sea Dragon

Location: Orford (Suffolk) - Sea between Orford and Southwold
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Circa 1749
Further Comments: Several fishermen were attacked by a winged crocodile-like creature which they snagged in their nets while off the coast in this area. The beast killed one man and disabled another before being slain. The creature measured around 1.2 metres in length (though was said to be larger when alive) and possessed two legs with cloven feet.

Tamed Dragon

Location: Padstow (Cornwall) - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Saint Petroc is said to have tamed a horrific dragon by placing a girdle about its neck before taking the beast to the beach and setting it free. The dragon swam away and was never seen again.

Crested Dragons

Location: Penllyn (South Glamorgan) - Penllyn Castle, and surrounding woods
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1800s
Further Comments: The dragons (or winged snakes, according to other sources) here were once said to be quite common, if not a little shy. They snacked on the local produce, especially chickens, and sparkled and shimmered when escaping farmers. They were hunted to extinction. It has been suggested that the winged snakes were misidentified pheasants or peacocks and not native to the area until introduced by the English.

Winged Snakes

Location: Penmark (South Glamorgan) - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: An old woman claimed that her grandfather had fought and killed a winged serpent in this area. The man had skinned the creature, though the evidence had been thrown away after his death.


An Image from An Essay Towards a Natural History of Serpents.

Tricked Dragon

Location: Penmynydd (Gwynedd) - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Paid by a nobleman to rid the area of a dragon, a local lad dug a deep pit and at the bottom he placed a brass mirror. The creature fell into the hole and, believing it had met a rival, fought its own reflection before falling exhausted. This enabled the boy to decapitate the monster with no further problems.


An old woodcut of a winged serpent.

Winged Snake

Location: Pistyll Rhaeadr (Powys) - Waterfall
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A flesh eating serpent that lived on top of the waterfall was killed by locals who antagonised the beast until it attacked a scarlet cloth that concealed jagged spears.


A Cheshire dragon.

Cattle Eaters

Location: Runcorn (Cheshire) - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Before the town's construction
Further Comments: Before the town was built here, legend says the area was home to a huge fire breathing dragon that was slain by a local blacksmith annoyed at the amount of cattle he and his friends were losing.

Gold

Location: Salop (Hereford & Worcester) - Wormelow (barrow)
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A dragon was said to protect hidden gold in this barrow.

Gas Breather

Location: Sexhow (Yorkshire) - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A winged fire breathing dragon once terrorised this area. Demanding the milk of nine cows every day, the creature took residence on a hill. As well as breathing fire, the creature released poison gas which killed anyone venturing too close. It was finally killed after a long battle by a wandering knight who then went on his way without demanding a reward or revealing his name. The skin of the dragon was stored in the local church for many years, but what happened to the item is not known.

Sleeping Dragon

Location: Shrewsbury (Shropshire) - Earl's Hill and Pontesford Hill
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Some locals say that the two hills are a sleeping dragon. Another legend connected with the area says that either the king of Mercia or the king of Wessex lost a gold arrow here in the seventh century, and it can only be found by a seventh daughter of a seventh son.

Poisonous Lizard

Location: Slingsby (Yorkshire) - Road from Hovingham to Malton
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A great lizard that lived along this road, feasting on lonely travellers at night, was killed by a local hero and his pet dog. Unfortunately, both the victors died soon after the battle due to the delayed effect of the dragon's poison. One story says that the dragon was over a mile long.

Dragon Death

Location: Sockburn (Yorkshire) - Area marked by the Greystone
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Sir John Conyers killed this worm by stabbing it under a wing, marking the spot with a stone and donating the used sword to Durham Cathedral.

Undying Prince

Location: South Barrule (Isle of Man) - Devil's Den (was a hole in the ground, current status not known)
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An immortal prince was bound by magicians and remains trapped in the hole. No one knows what he looks like, but animals which were led to the mouth of the hole would become terrified and become covered in sweat. One man was said to have seen a dragon with burning eyes enter the hole, followed by terrible groans emerging from below the ground.

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