The Uncomfortable Truth about Worms Hill.
Have you ever wondered about how things get their name?
Or why does the hair stand up on the back of your neck?
Worms Hill near Maidstone, as an example, has always made me wonder about such things,
Having looked up the origin of the name it came to my attention that in "times of old when Knights were bold" a Worm was a Dragon,
Dante himself refers to the World Worm on his trip to Hell. His dragon had eyes the size of volcanoes and the breath of a thousand rotting corpses.
There is global evidence that Dragons existed in every culture and every country in some form or another. In the West they are often a fire breathing winged lizards with blood that can dissolve rock. By all accounts a most manxsome foe as described by Lewis Carole in the Jabberwocky. Yet in the East it is a benevolent creature who can bring prosperity and wealth to whole villages.
So what is lurking in Worms Hill's murky past?
A series of startling events unfolded on the 11th February this year on one of the green field housing sites in a small wooded copse on Worms Hill. A building contractor had been given the go ahead to start clearing the site and prepare some trenches for the foundations to be set. The JCB digger started its laborious task of digging the trenches. During these digs things often turn up but on this occasion Neil Norlagg may have uncovered something as important as the Rosetta stone. At a depth of about 2.4 meters Norlagg saw something in his bucket that looked like a vertebrae. Being a curious chap Norlagg keenly cleaned it up and realised that it was a vertebrae, but it looked like that of a small whale rather than any land mammal. He then excavated the area where he thought the bone came from and found 2 more vertebrae and a skull. These resembled nothing he had ever seen before.
Norlagg took his find to a close friend, Mrs Zelkirk, who was an experienced Cryptozoologist. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. Perhaps this was the first hard evidence that dragons do exist?
They took the bones to the Natural history museum for close examination where a few more startling discoveries where made. Firstly they found some metal fragments on the third vertebrae. These were analysed by the metallurgist at the V&A and were identified as early medieval iron, putting the date at around 1100 AD. They also discovered deposits of carbon in the nasal cavities. The anatomist thought that the structure of the skull was more in keeping with a dinosaur than any other creature. This was later confirmed by the great French anatomist Georges Cuvier and, as we know, dinosaur does mean terrible lizard.
Mrs Zelkirk and Mr Norlagg went to the British Library to look up the history of Worms Hill and to their surprise there was an account of a dragon which terrorised the villagers. It was slain by a Knight who brought its head back to the village. It was buried on the intersection of two Lay Lines to ward off any other beast.
Press viewing Tuesday and Wednesday 21st and 22nd June at MODA underground, 11 Rendezvous Street Folkestone CT20 1EY during normal shop hours
And then on view to the public from 24th June to 10th July
The skull was found/made by Canterbury based artist, Clive soord.
This is part of my website The Folkestone Gerald that I set up in a fury of enthusiasm when I first came to Folkestone in approximately '04. I had been a frequent visitor for a while before that so I am technically one of those Down From Londons you get nowadays. This site was a lot more dynamic with a calendar of events and voting for best venues and stuff, and I know it was a useful reference for others who were moving here. Now I've moved out of Folkestone again (though just to Hythe) it doesn't get as much love as it used to. Ironic really as The town is now becoming the exciting place we knew it was about to become. I am not Gerald by the way, the name comes from a pretend paper in an episode of Brasseye or something, the Portsmouth Gerald, and how there is a local paper here called the Folkestone Herald. Puns like this are great aren't they? Do get in touch if you have anything to contribute, email anythign @ this domain, or try @folkestone or @pauly on Twitter.