Into our countdown slithers the Sockburn Worm. According to local legend, Sir John Conyers slew the Sockburn Worm with his falchion – allegedly that which is still housed in Durham Cathedral (though not on display, perhaps being kept securely in case it is ever needed to deal with a future dragon infestation).
The tale is said to have been the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, but whether this is true or not, it’s certainly the case that stories of worms and dragons are found throughout the North East. They also feature in some of the medieval religious plays of the period, with some worm costumes appearing on stage. These were perhaps meant to represent the devil.