This is an addition to the page on St Catherine’s Hill at Guildford.
Also in the Guildford Dragon, is a letter from Graham Dean, who I believe is a retired geologist from the oil industry, putting forward an interesting explanation for the naming of this hill in medieval times as Drake Hull, meaning Dragon Hill. Deep below the hill is a stratum of Kimmeridge Oil Shale. This shale gives off oil and gas which sometimes rises to the surface. Indeed there is a spring in a neighbouring garden which often has an oil sheen on the water. In medieval times the oil from seepages was collected for its medicinal properties. It occasionally combusts and burns continuously and would perhaps give rise to the idea of a fire-breathing dragon.