Gwyddno Garanhir

A long, long time ago (or so the story goes) there was a rich and fertile kingdom situated on the lowland flood plains of West Wales.

The land was so valued that one acre there was worth four acres elsewhere. It was called Cantre’r Gwaelod (the lowland or sunken hundred) and was ruled by King Gwyddno Garanhir whose palace was located near modern day Aberystwth.

The land lay below sea level and was protected by a complex system of sea walls and the guardian of these sea defences was a friend of the king, a prince named Seithennyn. Every night he shut the gates to prevent the sea flooding in. Then, one night, Seithennyn got drunk at a feast and forgot to close the gates. It was a stormy evening and the spring high tides broke the defences, flooding all the land and the 16 villages within it.

Cantre’r Gwaelod was lost but the legend of the Sunken Hundred lived on.