Nant Gwynant, Gwynedd, LL55 4NS

Hafod y Gwynt

Site designed by

Local legends

Death of King Arthur

When King Arthur was pursuing his enemies among the mountains of Eryri, he heard that they were encamped in strong force within the walls of Tregelan, and that all the passes were under defence. He summoned all his forces to meet on the flat ground opposite Craflwyn, called Y Waen Wen, and there selected a strong regiment from the pick of his men. He then directed his march to Cwmllan, over the mountain of Hafod y Porth.

 After a tremendous struggle, Arthur drove the enemy from the town, in the direction of Cwm Dyli, and then followed them in pursuit. But when the leading portion of the army reached the top of the pass, the ranks of the enemy let fly a shower of arrows, and Arthur received a fatal wound.

His soldiers buried him in the pass - known as Bwlch y Saethau (the Pass of the Arrows) - so as to prevent a single man of the foe from returning that way while Arthur’s body rested there.

After King Arthur was slain, and had been buried under the huge stone mound at the pass, all his men ascended the peak of Lliwedd, and descended thence to an immense cave in one of the steep ascents of Cwm Dyli. When all had entered in this hiding-place, the mouth of the cave was closed with loose stones and turf within, a small hole only being left, so that no one except by the merest accident could discover it.

The men gave themselves over to sleep, leaning on their shields, so that they might be ready for the second coming of Arthur; for he is expected to return again and restore the British crown to the original Britons.

Many years ago, as several shepherds of this part were collecting their flocks on Lliwedd, one of the sheep fell onto a ledge of this precipice. The shepherd of Cwm Dyli ventured down to bring it back again, and to his astonishment he saw he mouth of the secret cave close to the very ledge where the sheep had fallen. A light was burning within, and he ventured to peep into the mysterious cavity, and behold! A numberless host of soldiers all asleep and leaning on their shields.

Seeing them fast asleep, he thought he should like to go in and have a look at them. But as he was pushing his way in, he knocked his head against a bell which was hanging in the entrance, and this rattled until every corner of the cave was resounding deafeningly. The soldiers to a man immediately woke up, and as they awoke gave forth a terrific shout. The shepherd got such a fright that he was never well again: and no one has ever since dared to approach even the mouth of the cave.

The monster of  Glaslyn

Long ago, the inhabitants of the Vale of Conway were sorely troubled by an awful monster or afanc which lived in the River Conway, not far from Betws y Coed. It had caused them heavy losses, and many attempts were made to kill it; but neither spear, dart nor arrow could make the slightest impression upon it, so they determined to drag it from thence, and place it somewhere safe and out of the way.

After a diligent search for such a place, it was found that Llyn Ffynon Las (The Lake of the Green Well, now known as Glaslyn) was the safest place in the island.  trong iron chains were made, and two of the strongest oxen in the kingdom were secured. When the chains had been placed around the monster, by the help of a cunning woman, it was dragged out of the lake.

The oxen proceeded through the parish of Dolwyddelen and through the pass, which has ever since been called Bwlch Rhiw yr Ychain (The Hilly Pass of the Oxen). The afanc was then drawn with great labour up through Cwm Dyli, as far as Llyn Ffynon Las, where the chains were loosed, and the monster jumped headlong into the lake.

It was sometimes after this, seen furiously troubling the lake. All the fish were soon destroyed by it, and even now we are told that if any creature happens to fall by accident into the lake, the monster immediately drags it under the water, and is seen no more.