NOT so much with beating wings and fiery breath, Presteigne’s lost Sleeping Dragon is making a peaceful return to the Welsh border where he faithfully kept vigil for four years to mark the centenary of the First World War.

His sojourn ended on a commemorative night five years ago, echoing the end of hostilities in 1918. And there the story might have ended…until the local community made repeated calls for the dragon’s return.

Supporters of a drive to reinstate what was a familiar landmark are close to the fundraising target of £7,000. Blacksmith and sculptor Peter Smith created the dragon to mark the Great War’s centenary, and now by popular demand, he has carried out extensive work to prepare his dragon as a permanent fixture.

Hereford Times: Pete Smith with Presteigne's Sleeping DragonPete Smith with Presteigne's Sleeping Dragon (Image: Alex Ramsay)

Western Galvanisers Oswestry has cleaned and galvanised the armature while Logistics Aid from Shobdon – which carries humanitarian aid to war and disaster zones - has brought the dragon back home to Bluefoot Forge near Presteigne.


“I could have done without this in my life!” Peter joked. “I’ve had four years of being pestered!” He hopes to have help from volunteers for the next phase, covering the armature with stretched rabbit wire and securing it with 3,000 cable ties. The final stage will be applying resin and fibre glass, then the dragon will be sprayed in red paint.

“We’re aiming to put it back on August 4, nine years to the day when we first put it up,” he said. This reflects the day in 1914 when Britain declared war on Germany.

Tessa Knight, who is helping with the crowdfunding effort, said she was delighted with the encouraging remarks on the Just Giving page.

“People have said it’s got to come back,” she explained. “It’s a peaceful dragon, not a fiery, warlike one and provides a welcome to Presteigne on what is known as ‘Dragon roundabout’.”

Anyone who would like to help raise the final £1,000 needed can go to