The Dragon of Kingston St Mary

The Village Hall like many other groups in Kingston St Mary, uses a dragon as part of our logo. Local folklore records a tale of a dragon that terrorised Kingston St Mary. The most notable record of this was in a book by Miss R L Tongue titled Somerset Folklore, published by The Folk-lore Society in 1965.

"There was a terrible dragon to Kingston St Mary, breathed out viery vlames he did, an’ cooked his meat to a turn, looky zee. Well, no one couldn’t get near to kill’n for vear of bein’ roasted so brown’s a partridge. Now, there were a bold veller as had a good head on him. And her climbed lane by Ivyton where there was a gurt rock those days. ‘Tis a steep hill, look, and rock was right on brow, so he give a shout to dragon. Well then, dragon he d’ look up and zees ‘n. Then he opens his gurt mouth to roar vlames, and the veller gives the rock a shove off. It rolled straight down hill into dragon’s mouth and choked’n dead. Yes, it did.

This tale was gathered in 1911 from harvesters and a maid-servant in Cothelstone and Ivyton. I was showed the very place in Ivyton Lane where the stone came from."

An easier version of the tale for children to understand might be:

There was a terrible dragon near Kingston St Mary that breathed out flames, and kept killing the farmer’s cows and sheep. No one could get near enough to the dragon to kill him, because as soon as anyone approached the dragon, it would open its mouth and breathe out flames, burning them to a crisp. Then one day a clever boy had an idea. He climbed the lane by Ivyton where there was a big round rock. It is a steep hill, and the rock was right at the top. When the boy got to the top of the hill, he called out to the dragon below. The dragon heard the shout and looked up the hill and saw the boy. The dragon opened his great mouth to roar out flames and kill the boy. But as the dragon looked up, the boy pushed the rock with all his strength, and the rock rolled straight down the hill into dragon’s mouth. The dragon struggled, but the rock was wedged in his throat, he couldn’t breathe out flames, and he couldn’t breathe in any air. Soon the dragon was dead, and the boy became a local hero.
The dragon that is used by the Village Hall was designed by Stephen Lovell, a local graphic artist whose work can also be seen on the Millennium Seat around the tree at the end of Church Lane. In memory of Mrs Barbara Gibson who died 1997, John Hughes, using the design by Stephen Lovell, was commissioned to make the weather vane that sits above the front porch to the Hall.

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Designed by Nick Townsend : ©Kingston St Mary Village Hall 2015 : Registered Charity No. 229025