The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Little Doward



The Trioedd Ynys Prydain ("The Triads of the Island of Britain") were compiled in the 13th century*. Triad 5126 describes Vortigern, who was not a very nice man. But he came to a sticky end:

"[He] first gave land to the Saxons in this Island, and was the first to enter into an alliance with them. He caused the death of Custennin the Younger, son of Custennin the Blessed, by his treachery, and exiled the two brothers Emrys Wledig and Uthur Penndragon from this Island to Armorica, and deceitfully took the crown and the kingdom into his own possession. And in the end Uthur and Emrys burned Gwrtheyrn in Castell Gwerthynyawn beside the Wye, in a single conflagration to avenge their brother."

The triads had been influenced by Geoffrey of Monmouth's work, the 'History of the Kings of Britain' (c1138). (a translation of which is online at )
and this similarly describes Arthur going to
".. the town of Genoreu, whither Vortigern had fled for refuge. That town was in the country of Hergin, upon the river Gania, in the mountain called Cloarius."

(bear with me here)

People (eg John Edward Lloyd in
The English Historical Review, Vol. 57, 1942) have suggested that Genoreu is 'Ganarew', which is today the name of the settlement below Little Doward hillfort. So this could be the intended scene of this story. For another Arthurian link, there is a cave on the hillside called "King Arthur's Cave".

*but you have to bear in mind that Iolo Williams had an overactive imagination too.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th December 2006ce
Edited 19th July 2009ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment