Wednesday 22 December 2021

The Dragon of Whorl Hill

 The Wyrm of Whorl Hill

Whorl Hill is a wooded, dome shaped hill between Faceby and Whorlton in North Yorkshire.North Yorkshire has many tales of wyrms or dragons as does most of the north east of England . Handale, Nunnington, Sockburn, Lambton, Slingsby, Wantley, Loschby all claim to have had dragons or worms.

For more on the Lambton Worm read here :

The story of the Sexhow or Whorl Hill dragon appeared in a book in 1888.

. Thomas Parkinson wrote in “Yorkshire legends and traditions” of 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. So voracious was its appetite , that it took the milk of nine cows daily to satisfy its cravings; but we have not heard that it required any other kind of food. When not sufficiently fed , the hissing noise it made alarmed all the country roundabout; and, worse than that, its breath was so strong as to be absolutely poisonous, and those who breathed it died. This state of things was unbearable, and the country was becoming rapidly depopulated. At length the monster’s day of doom dawned. A knight, clad in complete armour, passed that way, whose name or country no one knew, and, after a hard fight, he slew the monster, and left it dead upon the hill, and then passed on his way. He came, he fought, he won; and then he went away. The inhabitants of the hamlet of Sexhow took the skin of the monster-worm and suspended it in the church, over the pew belonging to the hamlet of Sexhow, where it long remained a trophy of the knight’s victory, and of their own deliverance from the terrible monster.”

(The skin was said to be hung in the church at Hutton Rudby and later destroyed in  the reformation.)

With so many similar stories and legends one has to wonder if there is some truth in it. Could some creature ,perhaps a huge snake or lizard lived in those times ? 


Yorkshire legends and traditions, as told by her ancient chroniclers, her poets, and journalists  (1888) Parkinson, Thomas, Rev . Reprint Published by Pranava Books, 2018 Delhi


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