Discover the legend of two dragons
Discover the story of the two sleeping dragons and their lair beneath a mountain in North Wales. Learn how a young Merlin played his part in this legendary tale.
Building a castle at Dinas Emrys, Craflwyn
In the fifth century the Celtic King Vortigern chose Dinas Emrys as the site for his castle. From here he hoped to escape the Saxons but his plans for a fortress weren't going well.
Every night the royal masons would lay down their tools only to return the next day to find they'd vanished. Overnight their carefully crafted walls had fallen down too.
A magical child
This was repeated day after day until Vortigern was forced to seek the help of sorcerers and magicians. They advised that the ground should be sprinkled with the blood of a child born to a human mother and a father from the ‘other world’.
Merlin and the dragons’ lair
A search was launched and eventually the child was found in Caer Myrddin in Carmarthen and preparations for the sacrifice were made. But the child, Myrddin Emrys, was no ordinary child. In fact, he was Merlin the wizard.
Merlin convinced Vortigern that two dragons lay sleeping under a lake inside the mountain. He told him that they were destroying the foundations of his fortress.
Vortigern was convinced the boy was correct. He commanded his labourers to dig deep into the mountain. When the men dug down they discovered an underground lake, just as Merlin had predicted.
The lake was drained and revealed the two sleeping red and white dragons. They didn’t like having their sleep disturbed and they began to fight. Eventually the white dragon flew away and the red dragon returned quietly to his lair.
Vortigern’s castle was finally built and duly named Dinas Emrys in honour of Myrddin Emrys, and the red dragon has been celebrated ever since.
Modern day discovery
In 1945 the site was excavated by archaeologists who discovered a lake and the ruins of a fortress dating to Vortigern’s time. The walls all showed signs of having been rebuilt several times. Could this be the site of the legendary tale?
Discover the tragic tale of Gelert, the faithful hound that gave the village of Beddgelert its name. Walk to the memorial grave on the edge of the village.
With its towering mountains, deep gorges and pristine lakes, Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri (Snowdonia National Park) is an ideal holiday destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Stay at one of our holiday cottages in Eryri (Snowdonia) and explore this special part of Wales.