This is an addition to the page on St Catherine’s Hill at Guildford.
Following news of the discovery of a cave on the hill, as shown in my post on St Catherine’s Chapel, our local online newspaper, the Guildford Dragon, published this telephoto shot of the progress of the work to stabilize the railway cutting. The cave is now presumably buried and fully recorded and presumably an archaeological investigation was carried out prior to this work as this is a Mesolithic site of some importance. 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.