Here be Dragons! (A Few British Dragon Legends)

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 2
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Document Description
Here be Dragons! (A Few British Dragon Legends)
Document Share
Document Tags
Document Transcript
  Here be Dragons... "Besides, if there were no dragons of esh and blood and re, whence would come the idea for these stone carvings?"   Robin Hobb, Assassin’s QuestThe Brish Isles are literally crawling with tales of Dragons and Dragon like beasts !"ery county, e"ery area see#s to ha"e its own Dragon tales of one for# or another, be it of the classic winged beast, an o"ergrown ser$ent or a basilisk Dragons a$$ear to re$resent ele#ental forces, with their ability to breathe %re, their dee$ ca"ernous lairs and their ability to &y, while other dragons are waterbeasts who churn the wa"es of their watery ho#es 'ertain areas such as !ast Anglia, (orkshire and )o#erset *whose coat of ar#s shows a red dragon+ are $arcularly rich in Dragon lore ith their &a#ing breath, hy$noc stares, bat-like wings and "icious talons Dragons are fearso#e and yet ins$iring e #ay think of knights slaying dragons, but in #any of the tales it .ust ha$$ens to be so#e $assing young lad of no real rank, as likely a far# lad as a knight on horseback /ne thing that strikes #e fro# these ancient legends is the idea of the dragon’s do#ain with his treasure %lled lair at its heart as in the stories dragons o0en $lague certain co##unies or areas, laying waste to s$eci%c lands or de#anding $ay#ent fro# s$eci%c "illages or locales, o0en in the for# of #ilk as #uch as local "irgins Dragons a$$ear to be intrinsically linked to the landsca$e or area in which they li"e, they feed fro# it, hold $ower o"er it and generally try and rule it in their own way1or so#e these legends are far-fetched, harking back to a si#$ler and #ore su$ersous #e, while for others these legends e#body so#ething #ore than si#$ly a beast, but rather the raw, unta#ed energy of the earth 2erha$s these #anifestaons of dragons with their aweso#e $ower, &a#ing breath or fabulous treasures are sy#bolic of the !arth and her sacred $ower /r $erha$s as in the fa#ous $ro$hecy of 3erlin, dragons can re$resent two o$$osing forces, be they natural forces or those of #an In the Arthurian legends a young 3erlin was taken to 4ing 5orgern who was trying to build a tower, but the tower ke$t falling down 3erlin $ro$hesied that beneath the tower two dragons were %ghng, one was red re$resenng the Ancient Britons or 'elts and the other was white re$resenng the )a6ons In the end, 3erlin foresaw that the red dragon would triu#$h Another tale, fro# 7i8le 'ornard also features a ba8le between two dragons, which again a$$ear to re$resent two o$$osing forces A red dragon, this #e fro# the !sse6 side of the Ri"er )tour did ba8le with a black dragon fro# the )u9olk side of the ri"er The ba8le raged all day, unl at last the red dragon won In this tale though both dragons sur"i"ed the ba8le and returned to their res$ec"elairs to $erha$s ba8le again another day It #ay see# strange that for a naon su$$osedly $lagued by dragons in #es $ast that we hold the# in such a9econ and high regard 1or the elsh the Red Dragon is dee$ly sy#bolic of their culture and heritage and the &ag de$icng this Dragon is $roudly &own )t :eorge the dragon slayer #ay be the $atron )aint of !ngland and Britain #ay be li8ered with 'hurches dedicated to those two dragon slaying )aints 3ichael and 3argaret, yet it is o0en the dragon who draws the #osta8enon In ;orwich there used to be a $rocession e"ery year on )t :eorge’s Day, carried in the $rocession was an e<gy of a Dragon known as the 'i"ic )na$ Dragon /"er #e the )na$ Dragon, which ca#e co#$lete with #o"ing #outh and s#oke, beca#e far #ore $o$ular than )t :eorge who was actually dro$$ed fro# his own $rocession= 5arious "ersions of the )na$ Dragon can sll be seenin ;orwich 'astle 3useu# where they are sll a $o$ular e6hibit In so#e stories the dragon is re$resenta"e of the world itself and the idea that the world is a li"ing enty Thor, that ancient ;orse :od of the ha##er and red hair will one day slay the orld )er$ent  - >?r#ungandr with who# he has already had one skir#ish >?r#ungandr li"es in the ocean and is so huge that he encircles the whole earth and swallows his own tail At Ragnarok, when the world will end according to the ;orse #yths, >?r#ungandr will let go of his tail and rise u$, $oisoning the oceans and the air with his e"il "eno# In killing the orld )er$ent Thor will also die, indicang the sacri%ces that we #ust so#e#es #ake 3any dragon killers die as a result of wounds in&icted by the beast they ha"e slain Also fro# the ;orse #yths is the tale of the )toor or#, another #assi"e orld )er$ent ty$e creature whose "ast cor$se for#ed the lands of /rkney, the )hetlands and Iceland 'ertain $laces, such as Dragon sha$ed rocks or ancient burial #ounds are fore"er linked in the i#aginaon and old stories with Dragons 3any legends around old barrows associate the# with Dragons, these are saidto be their hoards, and woe bede anyone who dared to enter or steal fro# such $laces Dragons are big business@ orna#ents, t-shirts, artwork and %l#s de$icng Dragons are $erennially $o$ular with adults and children alike e are fascinated by Dragons hy could this be Does it hark back to our childhoods, to the old stories we heard Do they re$resent so#ething of oursel"es or the earth on which we li"e Are they sy#bolic of our own darker natures, of our greed and unwillingness to let go /r do they re$resent our drea#s &ying high and destroying all that gets in our way Are they a re#inder of nature at her best and her worst as they ride the skies in the thunderstor#s or shake the earth beneath our feet as they sr fro# their slu#ber ato$ their $ile of gold5arious $lace na#es allude to Dragon lore, those which feature words such as /r# *for e6a#$le the /r#’s Head in ;orth ales+, or#, Drake and the infa#ous Dragon hill close to the <ngton hite Horse where legends say that )t :eorge killed the Dragon )o#e say that the <ngton hite Horseis a de$icon of )t :eorge’s steed, while others go as far as to say that the chalk %gure is actually a de$icon of the dragon who once terrorised the area At Dragonby in 7incolnshire a rocky outcro$ is said to be the re#ains of a Dragon and "arious ancient #onu#ents are associated with Dragon like beasts such as the Dragon )tones in 7incolnshire or Dragon )tone near )teeton in (orkshire Burial #ounds which are said to be guarded by dragons include or#low Tru#$ and /ld 1ield Barrows in Herefordshire, 'issbury Ring in )usse6 and he a$tly na#ed 3oney Hill in ;orthu#berland Are thereany Dragon $lace na#es or stories near where you li"e Sources and useful resources for nding dragon legends from your area Explore Dragons  by Richard 1ree#anh8$Cwww$aranor#aldatabaseco#re$ortsdragons$h$$age;u#E$aradataFGtotalRowsE$aradataFJh8$Cwww#ysteriousbritaincouk#a$Dragons Copyright 2011 Ceri Norman (!!"
Similar documents
View more...
Search Related
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks