A HEREFORDSHIRE village is celebrating an historical legend with an eye-catching statue and new trail.

In 2018, Mordiford resident Marjorie Shackleton developed the idea of celebrating the village’s fascinating dragon legend with a local group headed by Jamie Driver.

People driving along the B4224 in Mordiford, near Hereford, will probably have noticed the statue of the girl holding a dragon opposite The Moon Inn.

And that’s part of a new trail celebrating the local tale.

Hereford Times: The statue of Maude and the dragon is on the green in MordifordThe statue of Maude and the dragon is on the green in Mordiford


The Story

The tale is about a lone green dragon that was found and cared for by a young girl named Maude.

But as it got bigger, so did its appetite. Its claws and teeth had grown, and it started to hunt local chickens and sheep. The locals began to notice, and they wanted him gone.

But the dragon evaded capture for months by hiding. Eventually, the villagers hired a man called Garstone, who hid in a barrel by a stream where the dragon was known to drink.

After days of waiting, the dragon landed to quench its thirst. Garstone launched out of the barrel and the dragon was never seen by the villagers again. Garstone never revealed what happened.

Although the dragon was never seen by the villagers again, an occasional claw or unexplained footprint was found in the woods.

Maude would sometimes disappear for a morning, returning with windswept hair and a beaming smile on her face.


The legend of Maude and the dragon has a number of different endings; some say that Garstone killed the dragon, some that he pushed the dragon into the river, and the dragon swam downstream, others that Garstone simply struck a deal with the dragon to hunt in the woods and leave the livestock alone.

What was never in dispute was the love between Maude and her friend.

The trail

The Mordiford dragon trail is about 1.4 miles long, and meanders gently through the landscape formed by the rivers, orchards and wooded hills that surround the village.

Hereford Times: The legend of Maude and the Mordiford dragon is brought to life by a series of wooden sculpturesThe legend of Maude and the Mordiford dragon is brought to life by a series of wooden sculptures that help illustrate the tale of the dragon that once lived in Mordiford.

The numbers relate to points on the route, where you can see sculptures bringing this legend to life.

There was a grand opening of the trail on May 2, 2022, and almost 300 families, including competitions for the best dressed dragon, and the best dragon model attended.

The project has been supported by the parish council, Heritage Lottery funding and Herefordshire Community Trust.

Click here for a route map, and for those requiring an easier access route, find a link here.