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Maen Huail

Standing Stone / Menhir


Cdw o Frydain, (or Caw of North Britain,) and Lord of Cwm Cawlwyd, who then lived in Edeyrnion, or its neighbourhood, and had two sons; the eldest was the famous Gildas, the querulous historian, an excellent scholar; the second was Huail, a perfect libertine. Arthur becomes jealous of the latter's having an intrigue with one of his mistresses; -- resolves to go privately armed, to watch his going to her house: he soon appeared; and after a short conversation, they drew, and fought. After a long conflict, Huail had the good fortune to wound Arthur terribly in the thigh: upon this, the contest ceased, and a reconciliation took place, upon condition that Huail, under the penalty of losing his head, should never upbraid the king with this advantage he had over him, &c.

Arthur retires to his palace, which was then at Caerwys, in Flintshire, to be cured of his wound: he recovered; but it occasioned his limping a little ever after. As soon as he got well, he fell in love with a lady at Rhuthin, in Denbighshire; and, in order to carry on his intrigue more privately, he dressed himself in female attirement; and, as he was dancing with her and her companions, Huail happened to see him, and knew him on account of his lameness; and said, "this dancing might do very well but for the thigh." The king overheard him, and withdrew, and sent for Huail; and after upbraiding him with the breach of his promise and oath, ordered him to be beheaded upon a stone, which lay in the street of the town, which was, from this event, denominated Maen Huail, and which it retained in the author's time. (It is still to be seen at Ruthin.)

Copied from Edward Lhuyd's manuscripts, which was transcribed by him from a Welsh MS. of the hand-writing of John Jones of Gelli Lyfdy, in Flintshire, dated June 27, 1611.
Arthur sounds rather like a humourless double-standarded philanderer with no sense of proportion? And you thought he was noble and fair.

From 'The Bardic Museum' by Edward Jones, 1802.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd January 2011ce
Edited 3rd January 2011ce

Comments (3)

Lovely stuff Rhiannon! Hoping to see said stone in a few weeks time. I shall try not to upbraid any kings while I'm there... thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
3rd January 2011ce
You found it! good one. It's a strange looking thing? Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th January 2011ce
It is. Right outside Barclays in the town centre. No bankers have been beheaded on it yet, to my knowledge. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
24th January 2011ce
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