Wales is a country steeped in myth and legend. Ancient tales passed down through generations tell of strange creatures that once roamed the hills and valleys, lurked in the watery depths of rivers and lakes or inhabited the wild rocky shores. Here we share the story of The Last Dragon in Wales
In West Wales, the exploits of mischievous faeries, beguiling mermaids and fire-breathing dragons have been woven into fireside stories for hundreds of years, shaping the rich folklore of the region. Many of our most famous historic sites feature in these stories – and it’s said that if you visit some of these places when the time is right, you may still encounter some of the curious creatures that have dwelled in these lands since the dawn of legend.
THE LAST DRAGON IN WALES
Dragons are the mythological creatures we most closely associate with Wales. These fire-breathing winged serpents loom large in tales of brave knights and damsels in distress but the story of the last dragon in Wales is a slightly different tale set in the town of Newcastle Emlyn. The story goes that during a village celebration in the shadow of the castle, the townspeople were panicked by the sight of a huge dragon landing on a turret to rest. A soldier approached the dragon, spreading a red shawl on the waters of the river Teifi as he crossed it, whereupon the dragon awoke and flew down to grab the shawl. The soldier speared the poor dragon at its weakest point (some versions of the story cite this as being the poor dragon’s bottom) and the dragon then fell, thrashing, into the water and died. The blood and venom that flowed from the dragon’s body into the river was said to have killed all the fish.
Today, the legend of the last dragon of Wales is kept alive in the sculptures and plaques that sit within the dramatic castle ruins.
It’s almost impossible to explore this spectacular and remote region of Wales without stumbling across a legend or two but just beware when you’re out and about – those ancient stones where you sit to rest or that babbling stream where you stop to paddle might once have been (or may even still be) the home of a rather curious creature!