Afon Dyfi - Aberystwyth: Fferm islaw lefel y mor, boddi teyrnas Cantre'r Gwaelod a hanes enwau strydoedd Aberystwyth. Bedwyr investigates street names in Aberystwyth when he vis...
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-The shores of Cardigan Bay
-are teeming with wildlife...
-..legends, natural beauty
-and, of course, historical names.
-They can all be found here.
-This is the coastline of Wales.
-This week, our journey takes us
-southwards from the River Dyfi...
-the sandy expanses of Borth...
-to the town of Aberystwyth.
-The River Dyfi
-is the historical border...
-The river has its own history,
-character and tradition...
-..not to mention the virtues of
-Cardiganshire that lies beyond it.
-"Surpassing every other county...
-"..Ceredigion is by far the best.
-"May God protect its virtue. This
-is the land of the generous man."
-We don't know who wrote this poem
-from the 16th century...
-..but later came those,
-who should've remained anonymous...
-the county and its people.
-"The little dark people" wrote
-one geographer from the '30s."
-It's certainly a land of contrasts.
-From busy university towns
-to forgotten forts.
-From barren marshlands to some
-of Wales' most beautiful beaches.
-They all await us.
-River Clettwr is the location
-for the first legendary tale...
-..though its associations with
-Ceredigion are, at best, tenuous.
-Behind me, lower down the valley...
-..is the village of Tre-Taliesin.
-And this simple-looking rock...
-..is apparently Taliesin's grave.
-The historical Taliesin was a 6thC
-court bard of the Brythonic kings...
-..associated with the Old North...
-..while the grave in the village
-dates back to the Bronze Age.
-The village was originally called
-Commins y Dafarn Fach.
-A shameful name...
-..during the 18th-century
-A building called Neuadd y Bardd
-once stood here...
-..and the antiquarian Edward Llwyd
-had already referred to the place...
-..as Taliesin's bed
-in the 17th century.
-It was a simple matter
-of combining both those things...
-..and Taliesin's legend provided
-a convenient link to the area.
-If you're going to rename
-your village after a poet...
-..you might as well name it
-after the greatest of all time.
-flows from high ground...
-..and winds around Dol Clettwr Farm,
-whose original building...
-to the mid-16th century.
-Rowland Davies' family
-has lived here for generations.
-What a spectacular view, Rowland.
-Yes, the north of Ceredigion.
-Borth in the distance,
-Cors Fochno in front of it.
-We then pass Banc y Neuadd,
-with Ynys Las coming in to view.
-Aberdyfi, down the River Clettwr
-and the Dyfi leads to Machynlleth.
-In what way does the sea
-still affect the land?
-The farm is situated at sea level...
-..but the marshland is higher,
-so the water doesn't drain away.
-They call it a floating bog...
-..so it moves up and down.
-When it's wet,
-it doesn't drain away...
-..which affects us in winter.
-So it moves up and down
-with the tide?
-Yes, the entire bog floats.
-There are several places within
-these level plains called Ynys.
-..beginning with Ynys Capel...
-..Neuadd yr Ynys, Ynys Tachwedd...
-..Ynys Fergi and Ynys Tudur.
-They tell me the whole area was
-underwater almost 400 years ago.
-These farms were once islands
-and they've retained their names.
-The only raised area of land
-is this mound in front of us.
-Yes, that's Neuadd yr Ynys Farm.
-As a schoolboy, I called it
-Banc y Neuadd because of the bank.
-My teachers back then,
-Miss Owen and Miss Isaac...
-..recounted the story
-of a big toad living on the bog...
-..that came to Banc y Neuadd
-to do his business!
-That's how the bank'd grown so big!
-That's how the bank'd grown so big!
-He must've been an enormous toad!
-As children, you believe
-everything your teachers tell you!
-you have names for fields...
-..on the farm itself?
-Yes, in front of the house
-is Cae Cwrt...
-..and behind the house is Cae Briws,
-a shortening of brewhouse.
-The Halfway pub in Tre'r-ddol
-housed a courtroom...
-..and the judges who convened there
-would come to Dol Clettwr...
-..and where the bathroom
-is situated now...
-..is where they would
-powder their wigs, ready for court.
-They'd walk through the field
-to the court within the pub.
-That's why it's called Cae Cwrt.
-The history's in its name.
-Yes, and hopefully it'll remain.
-It's important we retain the names.
-So this is Cae Cwrt?
-Yes, that's right.
-There's stony ground beneath it.
-Only two inches of earth covers it.
-The rest is peat.
-And rushes grow in the peat bogs?
-Yes, that's right,
-plenty grow in the peat.
-all sorts of things with it.
-Yes, when I was younger,
-I'd go fishing in the river...
-..and one time I spotted
-a child's rattle on top of a pole.
-I broke it into pieces
-and learned to do it myself.
-I'll try to make one for you now.
-The sea's influence is evident here.
-The village is called Tre'r-ddol.
-Yes, also known
-as Cockletown to us locals...
-..because anyone born and raised in
-Tre'r-ddol is called a Cockletonian.
-The name's derived from the fact...
-..there were cockle beds
-in the River Dyfi.
-People would collect cockles
-and take them home.
-They'd boil them and discard
-the shells in the village's gardens.
-All you'd see
-were discarded shells in the soil...
-..because they provided calcium
-What kind of people
-We're hard people. You should never
-cross us because we never forgive.
-to hold a grudge forever.
-I'll praise your rattle, then!
-Is it finished?
-Tie a knot at the top for me.
-Wrap it around twice.
-Will it harden once it dries?
-Yes, it'll be hard once it's dry.
-There you go.
-A child's rattle for free!
-A child! How very apt!
-Thank you very much.
-Borth simply means harbour.
-has strong maritime connections.
-A ferry used to operate
-between here and Aberdyfi.
-Over the years,
-the sea has washed away...
-..more than its share
-of interesting tales.
-Up until the early 20thC, locals
-spread rumours and gossip...
-..that some of Borth's families
-hailed from Spain...
-..since a Spanish vessel
-ran aground here...
-..and its crew seized the
-opportunity to settle in the area.
-You may think it's untrue...
-..but the fact is,
-a ship did run aground here in 1742.
-But it wasn't from Spain,
-it was from Portugal.
-That might be
-how the story originated.
-There's a gruesome story
-about a sailor from Portugal...
-..who was shipwrecked here, and
-whether you believe it or not...
-..so that the locals could steal
-his shoes, they cut off his feet.
-The sailor cursed them
-for nine generations as revenge.
-now threatens the village of Borth.
-The land is eroding quickly.
-This process is one which has
-continued since prehistory...
-..with remnants of ancient forests
-uncovered on the shoreline.
-It's given rise to a legend or two.
-is also the stuff of legend.
-This is the most prominent causeway
-along Cardigan Bay.
-Its shape is uniformed, as if
-an architect had designed it...
-..though its formation
-is completely natural.
-At the furthest end
-of the causeway...
-..are the ruins of an ancient fort.
-The name might be familiar to you.
-Caer Wyddno in Cantre'r Gwaelod.
-We're on the trail
-of the names and tales...
-..which enrich Cardigan Bay.
-We've almost reached the halfway
-point of this series, in Clarach.
-Dr Rhiannon Ifans...
-..specializes in Welsh
-medieval legends and literature.
-As we've travelled
-from north to south...
-three significant causeways.
-Sarn Badrig, Sarn Bwch
-and Sarn Gynfelyn...
-..which, as this maritime chart
-show us, extends into...
-..a substantial portion
-of shallow water...
-..which I imagine
-was dry land later on.
-But it's linked to a period...
-..according to legend,
-when this was all dry land.
-The legend of Cantre'r Gwaelod is
-very important to us in this area.
-So when this entire area
-was dry land...
-..from Cardigan to Bardsey Island.
-If you're in Aberystwyth, it
-extends 20 miles into Cardigan Bay.
-This was once dry land.
-This was the kingdom of Gwyddno.
-He ruled 16 cities
-within this territory...
-..but according to tradition...
-..this plot of land was overpowered
-by a sudden flood from the sea...
-..and was sunk.
-So Gwyddno was a king?
-Yes, he was a king
-of this coastal territory.
-look at the village of Borth...
-..when the tide
-is far enough away...
-..you can see tree trunks...
-Some locals believe...
-..that these are
-the ruins of Gwyddno's kingdom.
-If you follow Sarn Gynfelyn...
-..some eight miles out to sea,
-which is now called Patches...
-Awful, isn't it?
-The proper name for it
-is Caer Wyddno.
-Some believe that this was...
-..the location of Gwyddno's palace.
-Further northwards is Cored Wyddno,
-the place where he used to fish.
-We believe that all these elements
-have come together...
-..to create an explanatory story
-as to how all this land was sunk.
-How exactly was this kingdom sunk?
-The legend of Cantre'r Gwaelod...
-..is the foremost legend
-in this part of the world.
-It's to do with King Gwyddno,
-To protect these beautiful cities...
-..a sturdy barrage was erected here
-with solid floodgates...
-..to hold back the sea.
-One night, a lavish party
-was held at Gwyddno's palace.
-Everyone throughout the land
-was invited, apart from Seithenyn.
-It was his duty that night
-to guard the wall.
-A turbulent storm...
-..the worst ever to strike
-the coast, rolled in that night.
-The sea was wild,
-the wind was howling.
-Poor Seithenyn was out on the wall.
-He decided the best thing to do
-was to run to the palace...
-..and have a drop of mead.
-After the third glass...
-all about the wall and the storm.
-Unbeknown to everyone...
-..the wind had blown the sea
-through the cracks in the wall.
-It flooded into the palace...
-..drowning everyone in its wake -
-everyone except Gwyddno.
-He managed to escape.
-If you stand in the spot where
-he sought refuge that night...
-..on a peaceful night...
-..you'll hear the bells of
-Cantre'r Gwaelod pealing underwater.
-It's a wonderful story.
-Do we know where we need to stand
-in order to hear these bells?
-When I've heard them,
-I'll let you know!
-A lively university town nowadays.
-But in a previous era...
-..it was an influential harbour.
-It's noted that 59 trawlers
-were once moored here...
-..all fighting for their share
-of herring which populated the sea.
-reached Aberystwyth from the sea...
-..you'd arrive here,
-in the Trefechan area.
-It was also in Trefechan that most
-of Aberystwyth's boats were built.
-Not that the people of Aberystwyth
-and Trefechan have always got on.
-The people of Trefechan called
-the townspeople wild Indians.
-They, in turn,
-referred to Trefechan as Turkey.
-it's because Trefechan people...
-..rescued a shipwrecked crew
-from Turkey many years ago.
-But it's more likely that it's
-a reference to Turkey Shore...
-..an uncouth area of London...
-..that was notorious for its brawls,
-drinking and prostitution.
-In time, the tag was given
-to any coastal area...
-..that was considered
-a little barbaric.
-There are more than one Turkey Shore
-in Wales, as it happens.
-The most notable of which
-are in Holyhead and Caernarfon.
-I'm saying nothing!
-The ordnance map shows two rivers -
-the River Ystwyth from the south...
-..and the River Rheidol flowing
-through the town of Aberystwyth...
-..and out into the estuary here.
-It makes me think why this town
-isn't called Aberrheidol.
-The mystery over its name isn't the
-only linguistic matter of interest.
-I hope to be enlightened by the
-historian Professor Gerald Morgan.
-who's interested in names...
-..the first thing you notice
-..is that it's the River Rheidol
-that flows through the town.
-Yes, the town should be called
-Aberrheidol, not Aberystwyth.
-But during the era...
-..when the Welsh princes and
-the Normans were at loggerheads...
-situated a mile from the sea...
-..above the River Ystwyth...
-..overlooked the Ystwyth estuary.
-Back then, both rivers
-were completely separate.
-the Ystwyth was redirected...
-before the mid-18th century...
-..so that it flowed
-into the Rheidol...
-..to clear the sand
-from the harbour's entrance.
-In the meantime,
-the name Aberystwyth...
-..had been passed on to the town,
-as it were, but remember...
-..during the Middle Ages,
-the place was called Llanbadarn...
-..because of the ancient settlement
-two miles away.
-There's some confusion as to why
-the name Aberystwyth won the day!
-spectacular views of the town.
-I couldn't help but notice
-as I got off the train...
-..that the sign in the station read,
-"Welcome to Consti!"
-refers to Constitution Hill...
-..because it's good
-for your constitution...
-..to walk up the hill
-instead of taking the train!
-Its proper name is Craig-Lais.
-We also have Bronglais and Penglais
-and this is Craig-Lais.
-However, London's influence can
-be seen all over town, of course.
-There used to be a five-road
-junction near Penparcau...
-..and the old name for it on maps
-But that name disappeared.
-Bow Street is in the north
-and Chancery in the south.
-Originally, it was Chancery Lane,
-another London name.
-This is snobbery
-on the part of the Welsh...
-..who thought using these names
-would give them more status.
-At one time
-Aberystwyth was a fortified town.
-Yes, indeed, and you can see...
-..remnants of the walls
-on the town's plan...
-..leading down to the sea.
-Whether or not there was a wall
-along the seafront, we don't know...
-..because there are
-no stones to be seen.
-They've all been used
-to build houses.
-The Cardis use up everything!
-Were there gates attached to walls?
-Were there gates attached to walls?
-The main gate...
-..is referred to as Heol Y Porth
-Mawr in archaic documents...
-..or Great Darkgate Street,
-which is a great name.
-it either fell down or was stolen...
-..before any picture of it
-..apart from this drawing...
-..which depicts one of the towers.
-That was obviously
-the bottom part...
-..of the arch,
-if it's genuine, of course.
-can't even be certain of that.
-The street names...
-..refer to perhaps
-a more uncivilised period...
-..in the town's history.
-are made in the documents...
-..of Gogerddan's archives.
-They owned a large area of the town.
-are made to Lurker's Lane.
-No imagination needed...
-why it was called that!
-It wasn't a safe place,
-especially not for women.
-I'm guessing that's
-what's now known as Queen's Street.
-It's been made respectable!
-Bridge Street is very old.
-The archaic name of a street
-I'd like to see restored...
-..is Shipbuilder's Row,
-which is now a boring South Road.
-Tan y Cae is its Welsh name today...
-..which is fair enough...
-..because this part of the town...
-..was an open field, though it was
-within the town's walls.
-Sheep would graze there.
-Yes, it was in Aberystwyth
-that hundreds of ships were built.
-Influences from all directions...
-..make it a very interesting town.
-Yes, that's always been the case.
-are awash with tales and legends...
-..some of which are based
-on truths and half truths...
-..while others are left
-to imagination and romance.
-As far as the colour and wealth
-of our oral tradition goes...
-..as long as we know the difference
-between the two...
-..both fact and fiction
-are as valuable as each other.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
Afon Dyfi - Aberystwyth: Fferm islaw lefel y mor, boddi teyrnas Cantre'r Gwaelod a hanes enwau strydoedd Aberystwyth. Bedwyr investigates street names in Aberystwyth when he visits the town.