Llangollen in situated in the Dee Valley in North East Wales. It is a town with a history going back thousands of years. The original Iron Age Dinas Bryn Castle has a place in the legend of the Holy Grail, which, it is suggested, was brought to the area.
In this part of North Wales we also find early reference to the legend of King Arthur, reflected in the place names and traditions such as Ffynnon Arthur (Arthur’s Well) and Croes Gwenhwyfar (Guinnivere’s Cross).
There are more recent legends in Llangollen. In 1739 the local barber, who was also the local schoolmaster, murdered his wife and ran away. When the crime was discovered he was chased, caught and condemned to death on the nearest hill overlooking the school. Just before his death he was given a jug of ale. Since then the hill has been known as ‘The Barber’s Hill’.
It was the Victorians who made Llangollen popular with tourists, when the rising population turned it from a small village to a town. The landscapes of this part of Wales are spectacular and contrast well with the much more gentle and rolling English countryside characteristic of neighbouring Cheshire.
Llangollen Museum was started in 2002 and features displays explaining these and many other myths, legends and fascinating historical tales. Admission is free.
Other nearby sites
International Musical Eisteddfod
Held in July this festival includes musicians, choirs and dancers from all over the world. See website: International Eisteddfod .
Llangollen Steam Railway
The line currently extends 7.5 miles along the Dee Valley through outstanding scenery and with spectacular views of the valley. See website Llangollen Railway .
Take a canal boat trip in a boat pulled by horses through the Dee Valley and enjoy the scenery. See website: www.horsedrawnboats.co.uk.