According to a legend that began a very, very long time ago--the sixth century to be precise--a Welsh prince by the name of Helig ap Glanawg had a kingdom in North Wales. He built an opulent castle in which he lived and ruled his people. He and everyone in the principality lived well enough for the day and time, but then one day a raging torrential storm caused the sea to overstep its bounds and the massive waves swallowed the entire kingdom. People, buildings, castle, everything...just gone.
|Ocean Waves by Amada44|
This legendary lost kingdom is mostly thought of today as nothing more than a myth with no truth based in fact. No surprise there, right? Except...
Several expeditions have been launched in the past to prove--or disprove--the existence of Llys Helig. One such expedition, undertaken in the year 1864 by Reverend Charlton Hall, Reverend Richard Parry, and a geologist (accompanied by two local boatmen), found a submerged ancient wall off the coast of Penmaenmawr that could date to the sixth century. The team, therefore, said it could very well be part of Helig's castle. Some scoffed over the discovery. They said it was nothing more than a natural rock formation which just happened to run a very straight, regular course 100 yards in length. I'm sure if we looked hard enough we could find hundreds of formations just like this one underneath the sea...no really, I'm almost sure of it.
While we make up our minds as to Team A or Team B, I suppose we should mention the gravestone in the north wall of a churchyard, located in the the sleepy little town of Abergele, Wales. The church as it stands today was built on the site of another church which existed prior to the middle ages. Now the stone we see today is an exact replica of the eroded original. In both English and Welsh, we read the following:
"Here Lyeth in St.Michaels Churchyard, a man who had his dwelling three miles to the north."
So what you say? Well, if you go get yourself a map of the area and measure three miles north of the graveyard ,you will find that you are about two and a half miles out to sea. He lived in a houseboat maybe?
There's a legend connected to this kingdom as well. According to the story Helig had a beautiful daughter that much to Helig's horror and dismay, fell in love with a commoner. She wouldn't even so much as look at the men more suitable to her station in life. So, the Welsh prince took the commoner aside and told him that if he could go out into the world, find a golden torque which is the mark of a nobleman, and return wearing it around his neck then he would allow him to marry his daughter.
Not as easy as it sounded and the man knew it. Something like that could take years and in the meantime his beloved just might find someone else. As fate would have it, he soon came across a nobleman wearing the very torque he needed. The encounter ended with a dead nobleman and the besotted commoner returning to Helig with said prize.
Helig kept his word and a marriage date was set. Everyone should be happy...except the commoner wasn't so much. Guilt ate at his soul and he soon confessed all to his soon to be bride. Horrified that the deed might be discovered she told her lover that he needed to return at once to the abandoned body of the nobleman and bury it before someone discovered it. He complied, but as he buried the body he could hear whispers on the wind. Those whispers said, "Revenge will come, revenge will come...( or "dial a ddaw" if you speak Welsh...)
After he returned to the castle he told his lovely princess what he had heard, she assured him he heard nothing more than the moaning of the wind. They say the couple married and lived quite happily for years...until the night of the feast, when the raging waves of the sea rose up and avenged the fallen nobleman.
Why am I telling you all of this? First, I love the legend, and two, the underwater kingdom of Llys Helig (with my own interpretation) is very much a part of "Court of the Hawk," published by the Wild Rose Press!!!
Yes! I am so excited....
So, what do you think? Did Llys Helig exist or is it just another flight of fancy?