By / 14th December, 2016 / Carmarthenshire / No Comments

Year of Legends 2017

Wales is having a Year of Legends 2017 next year when tourism will be thinking about promoting attractions and events to people across the world!  Carmarthenshire is one of the most mythical landscapes in Britain. Its many legends give us all a sense of place and there are lots to choose from if you want to visit somewhere nearby where these stories occured.

Special events  will focus on some of the great Welsh Legends for example Hedd Wyn and Hywel dda. The Year of Legends is about the old infused with the modern day. It’s about showcasing the real Wales in a way that is alive with fresh talent and ideas. It’s about being unmistakably Wales and Welsh and internationally outstanding. But the Year of Legends isn’t simply about telling a tale. It’s about immersing people in an epic story. It’s about creating legendary experiences for everyone. And finding the legend within us all!

Merched Beca - Year of Legends 2017

The most local stories concern the Merched Beca or Rebecca Riots when men dressed as women in disguise and smashed up the toll gates one of which was in St Clears. In 1837 and 1838 the whole country suffered very poor harvests, worse in this part of Wales and awful rain forced farmers to buy corn at famine prices to feed themselves, their animals and their families, which further eroded what little capital they had. Grain harvests collapsed and in 1839 the first protests led by “Rebecca” destroyed the toll-gates at Yr Efail Wen in two attacks in Carmarthenshire. The next time the Rebeccas assembled was roughly three years later, when Tom Bullin was allowed to raise a tollgate by the Mermaid Tavern near St Clears. Its a great story and although true some embellishments have crept into the surviving legend.

What else is happening in Year of Legends 2017?

Maps, information and events to promote legendary walks across Wales such as the Wales Coast Path (first of its kind in the world), Glyndŵr’s Way, Offa’s Dyke Path. Legendary food experiences — will give visitors the chance to sample the best local produce, such as Welsh Mead. Storytelling sessions will be organised. Local legends will be celebrated and pop up events are being planned. Here at Old Oak Barn we are making plans to be involved as well!

Old Oak Barn is well situated for you to get involved in local and community events so watch this space for more information!

Some of the more famous legends include Twm Sion Cati, 

The Old Man of Pencader

The Lady of Llyn Fach is a wonderful example of a beautiful story – watch this short youtube video to learn a little more.

Merlin is one of the more local myths to us here at the cottage. He was it is said born and brought up in Carmarthen and some will remember the Old Oak which disappeared in 1982 and the surrounding myth.

Over the next few weeks we will be writing a few more blogs about Wales Legends and Myths.