As part of my challenge to visit 60 places in the UK where I have never been by the time I am 60 (60 by 60) a few weeks ago, along with some friends, I went in search of a Dragon! This place is literally 15 minutes drive from my house, and I had never been in 15 years of living here!
There is a legend in and around Scunthorpe that says that above the small village of Dragonby there is the body of a dragon that was turned to stone by a wizard. Another story claims that it is the top of a church that sank into the earth with the congregation still inside and that once a year the ghostly bells can still be heard ringing. The oddly shaped rock formation is actually thought to be completely natural, although there is a small channel that runs all the way down its back, that it is thought was put there, possibly by the people of the iron age settlement that was there. The village name Dragonby is only fairly recent, it was changed by local land owners, the Elwes family, from the original name of Conesby Cliff in honour of the dragon.
This picture is taken from the head end looking down the Dragon’s back.
This was the first time I had been here, despite living only 15 minutes drive away for the last 15 years, but better late than never I think! The scale of it is quite staggering, and impossible to capture in a single photograph as the ‘tail’ snakes across the top of the hill on which it rests. It is easy to see where the legends came from as it was so easy to believe the Dragon was merely sleeping, even the stone felt surprisingly warm to the touch. Maybe the Dragon still lives after all!