Famous Person or Ghost:Local Legend - The Lost Land of Cantre’r Gwaelod at Y Borth | Borthadd to shortlist

Borth - submerged forest

Borth - submerged forest

Borth - submerged forest

Local Legend, free entry

SY24 5JU



According to legend, Cantre’r Gwaelod was the rich and fertile ‘lowland hundred’ and sixteen cities governed by Gwyddno Garanhir, whose palace, Caer Wyddno, was reputedly near Aberystwyth. The land stretched across what is today the open sea of Cardigan Bay, and lay below sea level, protected by sea walls.

The guardian of the sea defences was Seithennyn, a friend of the king charged with the all important role of shutting the sea gates every night. One night Seithennyn, who liked his drink, was at a feast in the king's palace, and forgot to shut the sea gates. It was a stormy night and the high spring tides broke through, quickly flooding Cantre’r Gwaelod, and forcing its people to flee to the hills.

Today on a calm and quiet day, some say they can hear the bells of the drowned church of Cantre’r Gwaelod. Sit and wonder at the story and possibly listen quietly for the ringing of that submerged bell.

The tale is first recorded in the 'Black Book of Carmarthen along with tales of Arthur and Merlin. This precious manuscript is in the keeping of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Visit Ynyslas, near Borth to discover the petrified forest – best seen in winter when the strong tides wash away the sand - or listen out for the sound of bells from under the waves between Ynyslas and Aberdyfi, across the Dyfi estuary, immortalised in the popular welsh folk song 'Clychau Aberdyfi (The Bells of Aberdyfi).

Public toilets

Open all the time


Free entry


Aberystwyth TIC


SY24 5JU

Location and nearby places


Plan route to Y Borth | Borth using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SN 607898  Lat: 52.48878 Long: -4.05188


ByRoad: Off the A487 between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth

By Rail: Cambrian Line - Borth Station

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Borth station


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