Five tales of North East dragons and worms we’ve forgotten about

The legend of the Lambton Worm - as well as other beasts, dragons and witches - will come under discussion at Stuart's talk.
The legend of the Lambton Worm - as well as other beasts, dragons and witches - will come under discussion at Stuart's talk.
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Beastly North East tales – from deadly dragons to wicked worms – are to come under the spotlight.

Retired lecturer Stuart Miller, chairman of Sunderland Heritage Forum, will host an illustrated talk on Worms, Dragons and Assorted Virgins next Monday.

Stuart is planning to compare and contrast dragon types during his talk – and will even offer advice on how to avoid bloodshed when dealing with the creatures.

In addition to tales of the Lambton and Sockburn worms, stories will include:

1) Nunnington Worm

A knight offers to slay the worm to win the heart of a maiden but, every time he cuts a piece off the beast, it grows back together.

2) Longwitton dragon

Invisible, with huge talons and fiery breath. A passing knight eventually fights the dragon after buying magic ointment to help him see it.

3) Laidley Worm

A naughty tale of stepdaughters scorned, deadly dragons, magical toads and forbidden love.

4) Renwick dragon

An everyday tale of a dragon capable of turning you to stone at a glance – and a passion for fighting builders.

5) Linton Worm

A lazy dragon which sucked unlucky travellers into its cave - until a passing knight thrust burning faggots down its throat with his lance.

“The Lambton Worm is only one of many northern dragon stories. My talk confronts a range of these curious creatures, from Bamburgh to Yorkshire,” said Stuart.

“Wandering knights, mysterious witches, wicked stepmothers and assorted virgins proliferate in this account of the origin and transmission of dragon stories.

“The talk’s not really suitable for children or the faint hearted because of bloodshed, black magic etc. Only for believers and the truly gullible!”

•The talk will be held at the Donnison School, Church Walk, Sunderland, at 1pm on Monday. Admission £2.50.