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Excalibur in Snowdonia

Nestling high up in the Snowdonia Mountains, just below Snowdon itself, sits the Northern Welsh claimant to be the home of the Lady of the Lake. Llyn Llydaw, however, seems an unlikely setting for King Arthur's encounter with the Lady. He certainly would have had quite a climb to claim his magical sword, Excalibur. The battle weary Bedwyr must have felt it worst when returning his monarch's sword after the fateful Battle of Camlann. Further tradition says that this was fought close by in Cwm-y-llan, interpreted as a corruption of Cwm-y-llyn or "The Valley of the Lake" as it runs into Llyn Gwynant. Arthur himself was said to have been shot dead in Bwlch-y-Saethau - "The Pass of the Arrows" - and buried under the cairn known as Carnedd Arthur. These stories are, however, very late additions to the Arthurian compendium. More likely North Welsh candidates are the Camlan or Gamlan Valleys in nearby Merionydd. King Arthur, wounded in battle was taken to the Isle of Avalon, Bardsey Island in this case, to recover.


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