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The Slaying of the Sockburn Worm/ #FolkloreThursday.

May 12, 2016


Here’s my pennyworth for #FolkloreThursday, my favourite twitter hashtag. It is a depiction of Sir John Conyers, of County Durham doing the job of slaying the Sockburn Worm, also of County Durham.

This tale was supposed to inspire Lewis Carroll to write Jabberwocky:

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

Here’s a little more information on the Sockburn Worm:



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  1. Great picture – just tweeted it out. You might be interested in this podcast we’ve just uploaded, which explores more about some of the North East’s dragon and worm stories, and speculates about their Viking origins

    • Thanks-that’s great! I’ll have a look/listen to your podcast at some point. I’m part of a folklore/fairytales/etc reading group at Leeds University too. (Reading the Fantastic.) All going to plan, I’m speaking at their conference next year. The probable Viking influenced piece of folklore I’m familiar with is Black Shuck, from East Anglia. My dad’s side is from over there.

      • Sounds like you have lots of interest in this area. John McKinnell, who’s in that podcast, speculates that all of the six North East dragon and worm stories are also Viking in origin.

  2. Yes definitely. I’d love to use those stories/etc somehow-probably in my Illustration work. It is also interesting how the Vikings left traces through place names.

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