NU1533 : Spindle Stone (from below)

taken 9 years ago, near to Spindlestone, Northumberland, England

Spindle Stone (from below)
Spindle Stone (from below)
The Spindle Stone or Bridle Rock is a pillar of basalt standing out from the escarpment of the Great Whin Sill at Spindleton Heughs, west of Bamburgh. It is locally regarded as the rock over which Childy Wynde threw his horse's bridle before attacking the Laidl[e]y (loathsome) Worm (or dragon) - Northumberland’s version of Durham's better known, Lambton Worm LinkExternal link

The Ballad of the Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh was said to have been written by the old mountain-bard, Duncan Frasier, living on Cheviot, A.D. 1270 and first printed from an ancient manuscript by the Rev. Robert Lambe, Vicar of Norham. It is thought most likely to have been written by the Rev. Lambe himself in the C18th.

In the Kingdom of Northumbria, a kindly king in Bamburgh Castle takes a beautiful but cruel witch as his queen after his wife's death. The King's son, Childe Wynd, has gone across the sea but the witch turns his sister, Princess Margaret, into a dragon. Later in the story, the prince returns and, instead of fighting the dragon, kisses it, restoring the princess to her natural form. He then turns the witch-queen into a toad and becomes king.

The scene was illustrated in a painting by Walter Crane in 1881 LinkExternal link

The Berwickshire Naturalists' Club visited Bamburgh in 1924:
"Leaving the fort [Spindlestone Heughs] the party next visited the Laidley Trow [Trough], a rectangular stone trough receiving the water which trickles from a low bluff close to the marshy lair of the legendary worm; the marsh was bright with the yellow flowers of the flag iris."

BBC Radio 4 Land Lines: LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
Wikipedia: LinkExternal link
History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club (1924) Vol. 25 p.194-195; 197-198 LinkExternal link

Heddon Local History Society blog: The Laidley Worm of Spindlestone Heugh LinkExternal link

See other images of Spindle Stone & Laidly Worm

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Lowlands Woodland, Forest Rocks, Scree, Cliffs Primary Subject: Rock other tags: Poem Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Spindle Stone [7] Other Photos: · Whin Sill pillar, Kennel Crags ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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NU1533, 59 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Andrew Curtis   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 12 December, 2014   (more nearby)
Saturday, 13 December, 2014
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NU 1533 3391 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:35.9144N 1:45.4970W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NU 1533 3391
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
Clickable map
W Go E
Image classification(about): Geograph
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