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Treryn Dinas

Cliff Fort


Treryn fort is mentioned in 'Popular Romances of the West of England' by the Victorian Robert Hunt.
The giant's castle at Treryn, remarkable as a grand example of truly British Cyclopean architecture, was built by the power of enchantment. The giant to whom all the rest of his race were indebted for this stronghold was in every way a remarkable mortal. He was stronger than any other giant, and he was a mighty necromancer. He sat on the promontory of Treryn, and by the power of his will he compelled the castle to rise out of the sea. It is only kept in its present position by virtue of a magic key. This key the giant placed in a holed rock, known as the Giant's lock, and whenever this key, a large round stone, can be taken out of the lock, the promontory of Treryn and its castle will disappear beneath the waters. There are not many people who obtain even a sight of this wonderful key. You must pass at low tide along a granite ledge, scarcely wide enough for a goat to stand on. If you happen to make a false step, you must be dashed to pieces on the rocks below. Well, having got over safely, you come to a pointed rock with a hole in it; this is the castle lock. Put your hand deep in the hole, and you will find at the bottom a large egg-shapped stone, which can be easily moved in any direction. You will feel certain that you can take it out,--but try! Try as you may, you will find that it will not pass through the hole; yet no one can doubt that it once went in.

He also recorded the following:
Treryn Castle, an ancient British fortress, the Cyclopean walls of which, and its outer earthwork, can still be traced, was the dwelling of a famous giant and his wife. I have heard it said that he gave his name to this place, but that is, of course, doubtful. This giant was chief of a numerous band, and by his daring he held possession, against the giants of the Mount, of all the lands west of Penzance. Amongst the hosts who owned allegiance to him, was a remarkable fine young fellow, who had his abode in a cave, in the pile of rocks upon which the Logan Rock stands. This young giant grew too fond of the giantess, and it would appear that the lady was not unfavourably inclined towards him. Of their love passes, however, we know nothing. Tradition has only told us that the giantess was one day reclining on the rock still known as the Giant Lady's Chair, while the good old giant was dosing in the Giant's Chair which stands near it, when the young and wicked lover stole behind his chief and stabbed him in the belly with a knife. The giant fell over the rocks to the level ridge below, and there he lay, rapidly pouring out his life-blood. From this spot the young murderer kicked him into the sea, ere yet his life was quite extinct, and he perished in the waters.

The guilty pair took possession of Treryn Castle, and, we are told, lived happily for many years.

Robert Hunt's book is available online at
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th July 2004ce
Edited 14th July 2004ce

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