The legend of the sunken realm of Tyno Helig of Wales

Around the coasts of the British Isles and many other parts of the world there are many legends that tell of lands and civilizations that have been lost to the sea. The land of Lyonnesse was believed to have lain between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. The city of Ys of Brittany was also said to have succumbed to the sea, and of course there was Atlantis, the most famous of all. Wales also has legends of lands and kingdoms that have sunk below the waves. One such kingdom was Cantre’r Gwaelod and another one was Tyno Helig, that was once a kingdom of northwest Wales. This article will look at the legend of Llys Helig and the lost land of Tyno Helig.

Prince Helig ap Glannawg

In Tyno Helig the ruler, Prince Helig ap Glannawg, had a magnificent palace known simply as Llys Helig which means Helig’s Palace in English. Prince Helig ap Glannawg was believed to have lived in the 6th century and ruled an area that stretched from what is now Flintshire in the east to Conwy in the west and further. Helig’s Palace was thought to be situated in the north of his realm around two miles from the present day coast now submerged below the waters of Conwy Bay.  Read more

The legend of the drowned town beneath Lake Bala in Wales

Llyn Tegid is the Welsh name for Lake Bala in Gwynned which is the largest lake in Wales. It is nearly four miles long and covers 1,084 acres and is up to 136 feet deep. Although it is 529 feet above sea level it is situated in a rift valley lying northeast to southwest sloping down to meet the sea at Tywyn. The River Dee flows through the lake which is part of the river’s regulation system. Legend says the waters of the Dee never mix with the waters of the lake, though this has not been confirmed. The modern town of Bala is situated on the northern banks of the lake.

Like other Welsh deluge legends such as Tyno Helig and Cantre’r Gwaelod there is the legendary submerged town of old Bala unLder the waters. This legend differs because Lake Tegid is a freshwater inland lake while the kingdoms of Tyno Helig and Cantre’r Gwaelod were located under what is now sea. Nevertheless, all three were the victims of a catastrophic deluge and they do have some common factors. This work will focus on Lake Bala. and discuss the two different legends which tell how the old Bala town was flooded and the lake was created.  Read more Continue reading