Mythical Welsh Locations – Part 2

Mythical Welsh Locations – Part 2

Dragons at Dinas Emrys

This story is the foundation of Wales’ identity, the one creature of legend that is omnipresent in the country – the red dragon. The tale is a story of King Vortigern who chose this place for a castle and instructed his men to begin building. As they piled the stones on top of each, time after time the walls and structures would fall to the ground, the earth underneath was unstable it seemed.

Frustrated with this turn of events and eager to get his castle up. Vortigern consulted with the main man of mystical arts himself, Merlin. Merlin advised him that the reason the fortifications for the castle couldn’t stay still is because there were dragons fighting underneath the ground. So instead of building upward his men dug down into the ground and sure enough there was a pair of winged beasts scrapping, a white one and red one. Freeing the dragons while they fought, eventually the white dragon fled the scene and so the trouble was stopped, and the castle could be built.

Many believe that the red dragon still sleeps underneath the hill, and you can go see for yourself when you visit Dinas Emrys. The wonderful woodland, waterfalls and gorgeous views certainly make this place feel like a destination in a fantasy tale, but as you wander round you may see more. Elements of the dragon being celebrated lie all around from signposts to carved benches. You can eventually walk your way up to the area where square stonewalls mark a building of the past, or possibly the dig site where the dragons were released.

Angel at Llangernyw

Llangernyw is a small village in North Wales but it holds a local legend that is larger than life and one that is tied to a very real living legend. Amongst the graves of a quaint churchyard here lies a huge yew tree, which may not seem to impressive to those passing by, but this tree is the oldest living thing in Wales, experts say its over 3000 years old. The tree marks the place of a spirit that appears at the end of July and October every year. Angelystor, which means the recording angel allegedly comes forth from the tree on these nights of the year and in a foreboding manner tells of the fate that will inevitably arrive for parishioners. By reading out the names of local people, this angel of doom informs everyone in ear shot that these people will die on the same year.

One story tells of a man who didn’t believe in the Angelystor but his friends made him approach the tree on Halloween, unfortunately the first thing he heard was his own name spoken out and thus later that year he died. If you fancy visiting this spooky site the tree is easy to visit, it sits at the back of St Digain’s Church. The yew itself is worth visiting alone as its incredible life span is legendary anyway, but if you are brave you may wish to come on the days the angel may appear.