Legendary times at St Davids and Pembrokeshire in 2017
If you visit Wales, one of the things you’ll experience is the rich tapestry of myths and legends that are woven into the landscape and run through the culture here. In Pembrokeshire, St Davids and the surrounding area has plenty of its own legends to discover when you stay with us here at Warpool Court.
St David – Dewi Sant
You may have some idea of St David’s importance – after all, the UK’s smallest city, and its beautiful cathedral, bears his name! – but did you know that his Great Uncle is said to be King Arthur? David’s mother, St Non (Arthur’s niece), is said to have given birth during a storm on the cliffs above what is now called St Non’s bay, south of St Davids. When David was born, the legend goes that the spot was lit up by a heavenly light, the storm stilled and a spring of clear water appeared on the spot. You can still visit St Non’s Well today!
King Arthur and his Pembrokeshire connections
King Arthur might be claimed by the English as a king of England, but, as we’ve already suggested, Pembrokeshire has plenty of connections with one of the greatest legends of our time. High up on the Preselis, a short drive from St Davids, the standing stones at Cerrigmarchogion are said to be some of Arthur’s knights, petrified by a fearsome giant boar, Twrch Trwyth, as it made its escape to Cornwall (where it was eventually driven into the sea). The Preselis are also said to host King Arthur’s grave, at the eye-shaped ring of stones at Bedd Arthur.
Dragons at Warpool Court
Dragons play a huge part in the folklore of Wales although there aren’t too many dragon related legends in Pembrokeshire. The Welsh dragon has its roots in the 5th century when the Welsh kings used a red dragon to symbolise their power after the Romans withdrew from Britain. The red dragon is also said to have symbolised Wales in Merlin’s prophecies (back to Arthur again) about the Welsh struggle against the English (symbolised by a white dragon). Since these early times, a dragon has been used to represent Wales in many historic and symbolic occasions, from the Battle of Crecy in 1346 when Welsh archers played such a pivotal role against the French, and the rebellions led by Owain Glyndwr against the English.
Although you’re probably familiar with the Welsh red dragon, did you know that we have our own dragon here at Warpool Court? If you look closely at the elaborate back entrance to the house, you’ll see that it’s guarded by a crouching red dragon with the invitation ‘AVAUNT’ (‘enter’) on a marble slab beneath. This is typical of Basil’s propensity for the mock Gothic, as is the detailed archway that leads through the garden door onto the rock and westerly viewpoint. It’s also just one of the things that makes the hotel such a special place to stay!
Throughout Wales in 2017, there’s a celebration of Legends. Legendary locations, legendary food, legendary things to do. Come and find out more about the legends of Pembrokeshire and enjoy everything we have to offer here at St David’s!