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Information on the village of Morebattle, near Kelso in Scotland.
The Linton Worm is recorded by Walter Scott in his 'Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border'. This creature is depicted on the carved Typanum above the door of Linton Church, and has been described as a cross between a dragon and a giant serpent.
The story of the worm is remarkably similar to other stories extant in the Middle Ages in England and on the continent, the best-known of which is that of St George and the Dragon.
This creature, some 'three Scots yards long and somewhat bigger than an ordinary man's leg .... in form and callour to our common muir adders', lived in a hollow on the NE side of Linton Hill, from which it would venture forth to frighten the local people. People refused to go to the market or to the church if it involved going anywhere near the realm of the worm.
John Somerville, as the stories regarding the worm grew wilder and wilder, the sprouting of wings and fire-breathing being added to its attributes, went to see this creature which had to be disposed of. He devised a method of killing the creature using a very strongly reinforced lance with a burning peat at its tip. As he approached the worm he thrust the lance into its open mouth and down its throat. Despite breaking, the lance had fatally injured the creature.
For this deed of extreme bravery, Somerville was lauded throughout the country, was Knighted, appointed Royal Falconer and made 1st Baron of Linton.
So goes the story.
Back to: The Parish of Linton