|From Rhys's 'Celtic Folklore: Welsh and Manx' (ch. 7):
Next comes the story of Llynclys Pool in the neighbourhood of Oswestry. That piece of water is supposed to be of extraordinary depth, and its name means the 'swallowed court.' The village of Llynclys is called after it, and the legend concerning the pool is preserved in verses printed among the compositions of the local poet, John F. M. Dovaston, who published his works in 1825 [..] How much exactly of the poem comes from Dovaston's own muse, and how much comes from the legend, I cannot tell. [..]
Alaric's queen was endowed with youth and beauty, but the king was not happy; and when he had lived with her nine years he told Clerk Willin how he first met her when he was hunting 'fair Blodwell's rocks among'. He married her on the condition that she should be allowed to leave him one night in every seven, and this she did without his once knowing whither she went on the night of her absence. Clerk Willin promised to restore peace to the king if he would resign the queen to him, and a tithe annually of his cattle and of the wine in his cellar to him and the monks of the White Minster.
The king consented, and the wily clerk hurried away with his book late at night to the rocks by the Giant's Grave, where there was an ogo' or cave which was supposed to lead down to Faery. While the queen was inside the cave, he began his spells and made it irrevocable that she should be his, and that his fare should be what fed on the king's meadow and what flowed in his cellar.
At this point the retelling gets very complicated. But basically the queen was actually an ogress on her day off and she wasn't very happy at the interference. So she sank the town under water so all the miserable clerk would get would be slimy water and pike to eat. I don't know if she was intending to get rid of her bored husband at the same time but that seems to have been the side effect.
The visitor will, Dovaston says, find [..] stories which the villagers have to tell of that wily clerk, and of 'the cave called the Grim Ogo'; not to mention that when the lake is clear, they will show you the towers of the palace below, the Llynclys, which the Brython of ages gone by believed to be there.
Posted by Rhiannon
12th January 2011ce
Edited 26th May 2011ce