The Welsh legend of Mereid of Cantre’r Gwaelod

Cantre’r Gwaelod was a legendary land situated in Cardigan Bay, Wales, that became flooded by the sea drowning many of its inhabitants and forcing survivors to seek new homes further inland.  There are many different legends which give an account of how this deluge happened and this work looks at the one which casts the blame on a maiden named Mereid, who was responsible for maintaining a sacred well which fed the spirit of a goddess into the land.

Submerged forest, Borth, Ceredigion, Wales – By Richerman – CC BY-SA 3.0

Few people survived the catastrophe that Mereid had let loose.  Seithennin was drowned along with most other inhabitants of the land.  Her father, Gwyddno and his sons survived and a few other people  made it to high ground.  Their descendants scratched out a living among the rugged hills and valleys further inland to the new shoreline. Today, sometimes remnants of the fair land of Cantre’r Gwaelod are sometimes seen at low tides such as the submerged forest near Ynyslas, near Borth, invoking distant memories of a lost land taken by the sea.  Read more

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