A County Durham family have launched their own artisan gin distillery, inspired by one of the region’s best-known legends.

Dragon Slayer Distillery is based in Low Dinsdale, just outside Darlington, and has been set up by father and daughter team Paul and Yasmin Gibson, along with Yasmin’s partner William Sandick as master distiller.

Its first gin, Sir John Conyers London Dry, takes its name from the legendary Sockburn dragon-slayer.

Yasmin said: “Gin is my father’s and my favourite drink and we love to try new ones, which is why we decided to make our own.

“We were influenced by Sir John Conyers after visiting his chapel at Sockburn Hall, which is only three miles from our distillery. We thought it would be a fitting tribute to him and the folk story of him slaying the Sockburn worm.”

Legend has it that, in medieval times, the village of Sockburn was under siege from the Sockburn Worm, who terrorised locals and killed their livestock.

Sir John Conyers, a knight from a wealthy local family, killed the beast with his falchion, a bladed sword, which is still displayed at Durham Cathedral.

Yasmin said: “We want to share our small slice of dragon slayer folklore and bring forward forgotten stories to remind people of County Durham’s amazing history (regardless of whether it actually happened or not).

“Each of our gins will form part of the dragon slayer guild, where each one will tell the story of a different dragon slayer and then they will join the guild.

“Sir John Conyers is the first, and we intend to release a new flavour – and legend – each year.”

Dragon Slayer Distillery products will be available from cafes, farm shops and wholesalers soon, and will also be on sale directly to consumers at the Hurworth Grange Christmas Fair on Sunday, December 5th.