TAUNTON now has a brand new landmark - a 4-metre tall wood-carved dragon.

Somerset West and Taunton Council officially unleashed the 'Taunton Dragon' in the High Street at 3pm today (Saturday, February 11).

The spectacular 4-metre-high public art sculpture was created by local chainsaw artist Matthew Crabb and was unveiled by the mayor of Taunton, Cllr Sue Lees, and the chair of SWT, Cllr Hazel Prior-Sankey.

A large crowd of eager locals turned out to watch the proceedings before the big unveiling.

A brass band and fire jugglers performed in front of the dragon before the cover was lifted and it was revealed. However, it wasn't all smooth sailing as the sheet got stuck on the dragon's nose!

SWT’s executive member for culture, Cllr Caroline Ellis, said: "Super talented local chainsaw artist Matt Crabb has crafted the most stunning and awe-inspiring dragon sculpture for residents and visitors of all ages to enjoy.

"Made of incredibly durable cedar, the Taunton dragon will delight and inspire us for decades to come."

The Taunton Dragon was commissioned by the Council after two trees planted when the High Street was originally pedestrianised in the 1970’s were removed having outgrown their brick planters posing a danger to people and properties.

“Taunton is at the heart of one of the most creative counties in the land blessed with so many creatives and craftspeople - a county with a great tradition of folklore, mythology and a rich heritage.

“Our dragon celebrates and amplifies all this and will support us in reviving the High Street and in putting Taunton and Somerset firmly on the arts and cultural map where they belong."