(ORDO NEWS) — Cantre’r Gwaelod is a legendary ancient sunken kingdom that occupied a patch of fertile land lying between Ramsey Island and Bardsey Island in what is now Cardigan Bay to the west of Wales.
A map found in the Bodleian Library shows two “lost” islands in Cardigan Bay, possibly representing the legendary sunken kingdom of Welsh mythology, Cantr’r Gwalod.
Cantr’r Gwelod is a land said to have been west of present-day Wales. The legend of Kantr’r Gwelod is told in various ways, but the earliest depiction appeared in the 13th century Black Book of Carmarthen, where the land is described as Maes Gwyddno. According to this version, the earth was destroyed by a flood,
A more widely known version is from the 17th century, where Cantre’r Gwaelod is described as low-lying land protected from the sea by a dam and a series of lock gates.
Seitenin, one of the two princes in charge of protecting the sea, got drunk one night, causing the sea to break through the defenses and flood the kingdom.
Professor Simon Haslett, Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography at Swansea University, went looking for the lost islands in Cardigan Bay when he was a visiting fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.
The search led him to the Bodleian Library, where he discovered two previously unknown islands on the 13th and 14th century Gough Map, one of Britain’s oldest maps.
On the map, one of the islands is in the sea between Aberystwyth and Aberdyfi, while the other is located further north near Barmouth.
In a study published in the journal Atlantic Geoscience, Professor Haslett built on previous studies of the bay and analyzed data on the advance and retreat of glaciers and silt deposits from the last ice age.
He believes that the map to some extent confirms the modern stories of the lost land mentioned in the Black Book of Carmarthen, as well as the records of the Roman cartographer Ptolemy, according to which the coastline was much further west than today.
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