Almost by magic, the forest protagonist of the legend of the reign of Cantre’r Gwaelod reappeared thanks to the storm Hannah which, in these days, hit vigorously the United Kingdom and on Ireland, with winds above 130km/h, leaving more than 10,000 homes without electricity. His ferocity, however, has brought to light, unexpectedly, the remains of an ancient and legendary Welsh forest, disappeared for millennia.
Popular legends tell of a fertile land that extended for over 30 km, a mythological kingdom that was swept away, from one day to another, by the waves of the sea. The flood was the cause of a distraction by the priestess Mererid, guardian of a magic well that filled up to overflow and submerge the entire kingdom. According to the locals, sometimes the bell of the main church which once united the people of Cantre’r Gwaelod is heard. And this is not even the only story that revolves around the mysterious disappeared forest.
Some speak about what has been dubbed Atlantis of Wales, a very fertile kingdom that was sheltered by a dam, which separated it and protected it from the sea. One day, due to the low tide, the dam was opened to let the water flow but, since the guardian in charge to deal with its closure was a heavy drinker, he got distracted. And the ending is what we all know. Of course, we don’t know how much margin there is in these legends: what is certain, however, is that a series of archaeological finds have been found on the site, including fossilized foodprints of men, animals and some work tools.
The remains brought to light by the Hannah storm show that there was a forest of pines, oaks and birches from the Bronze Age. Some of these are currently visible on the beach, thanks to the storm and the low tide, on the stretch of coast that goes from Borth to Ynys-Ias. Thick trunks and huge roots, evoke a fable and legendary piece of Wales of more than 4000 years ago of a world that has now disappeared.
Source: BBC. Images from web.