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Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


There are traces of a serious number of round huts here. Coflein conscientiously lists each one (there are nearly 30) but is forced to say 'hard to discern in the field due to fairly extensive stone scatter'. The huts lie handily along the course of the Pant-y-griafolen stream. Some of its water comes from Llyn Dulyn, 'the black lake', which is very close by and was a natural lake adapted as a reservoir in the 19th century.

The dark lake has some strange folklore, as such a dramatic place might:
The extraordinary property of producing rain, when spilt upon a stone, is attributed to the waters of Llyn Dulyn, in Snowdon, according to the following account, which is translated from the Greal, a Welsh Magazine, published in London, 1805.

"There is a lake in the mountains of Snowdon, called Dulyn, in a rugged valley, encircled by high steep rocks. This lake is extremely black, and its fish are deformed and unsightly, having large heads and small bodies. No wild swans are ever seen alighting upon it (such as are on all the other lakes in Snowdon), nor ducks, nor any bird whatever. And there is a causeway of stones leading into this lake; and if any one goes along this causeway, even when it is hot sunshine, and throws water so as to wet the furthest stone, which is called the Red Altar [yr Allawr Goch], it is a chance if it do not rain before night.
Witness, T. Prys, of Plas Iolyn, and Sion Davydd, of Rhiwlas, in Llan Silin."
This is mentioned in Lady Guest's version of the Mabinogion, online at the Sacred Texts Archive (p77).

Much nastier, is this from chapter one of Marie Trevelyan's 'Folk-lore and folk-stories of Wales' (1909):
This black lake is supposed to be an extinct and fathomless volcano, and shepherds in the surrounding mountains used to say that the appearance of a dove near those black and fateful waters foretokened the descent of a beautiful but wicked woman's soul to torment in the underworld.

In the seventeenth century people believed that if anybody had the courage on one of the "three-spirit nights" to watch beside Llyn Dulyn he would see who were to die within the next twelve months. Fiends would arise from the lake and drag those who had led evil lives into the black waters. Those who had led good lives would be guided past the causeway leading to the lake, and vanish in spirit forms robed in white. A reputed witch disappeared from the district, and a shepherd said he saw her being dragged into the black waters. [A.B.]
Online at V Wales.

Its malign influence has obviously continued to have effect, as in 1942 a plane crashed into the tall and foreboding rocks behind, and pieces of it eventually wound up in the lake, where they are yet.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th July 2007ce
Edited 26th July 2007ce

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