Drowned Towns and Sunken Cities: The Legend of Lake Bala, Wales
Lake Bala is also known as Llyn Tegid, and in Welsh folklore is known for its legend of having a sunken town beneath its surface. It is situated in Gwynedd, Wales, and the modern day town of Bala lies on its eastern shore. There are two different legends that give different accounts of how the flooding took place. One concerns the spring of Ffynnon Gower or Gower’s Well, and the other involves the wickedness of a prince named Tegid Foel. This article looks at the legend of Tegid Foel.
The Legend of Tegid Foel
According to legend, Tegid Foel had a fine palace in the town now underneath Lake Bala and lived a life of opulence and excess. He had a reputation for cruelty and greed, and oppressed his people. The gods had sent several warnings and provided opportunities for him to change his ways, but still he unheedingly persisted in his greed and excesses.
When his first grandson was born, he decided he would celebrate the birth with a lavish feast. He sent invitations to all the important princes in Wales and beyond, and invited all of his family to join him in the banquet at his palace in Bala. Now, they say a man is known by the company he keeps, and there were many who would not attend the celebration because they refused to associate with this cruel and barbaric prince. Sadly, like attracts like and the banquet was still attended by many powerful men of ill repute and behaviour.