Burial place of the Garrog, Eglwysbach

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Burial place of the Garrog, Eglwysbach

The grassy mound behind the wooden fence here is where a terrifying beast called the Garrog was buried, according to local folklore.

One version of the story, recorded in 1698, describes how the beast, resembling a wild boar, terrified people who lived by the river Carrog near Eglwysbach. A local hero called Bach ap Carwyd killed the beast. He gave the corpse a triumphal kick but in doing so he injured his foot. The wound eventually killed him.

In other versions, the beast was more like a dragon, swooping from the air on livestock – and sometimes small children. A group of farmers, desperate to stem the losses, got together to hunt the Garrog. One of them, called Nico Ifan, refused to take part because he said he had dreamt that he would be killed by the beast.

The other farmers put out a poisoned sheep carcass which the Garrog soon devoured. Weakened by the effects of the poison, the beast was beaten to death by the farmers. Nico Ifan then appeared on the scene, gloating that the Garrog had not killed him after all. He kicked the corpse, but in doing so he managed to stab himself on a point projecting from one of the beast’s wings. The wound eventually killed him, fulfilling the prophecy he had dreamed.

Yet another variant on the theme has an expert archer, from outside the parish, shoot the Garrog with a poisoned arrow as it flew towards a red cloth which had been draped on the church tower. The landowner, who had been warned by a wise woman that the Garrog would be the death of him, exulted over the corpse and gave it a kick. The poisoned arrowhead, sticking out from the creature’s neck, pierced him and he fell dead beside the beast.

Footnote: French mythology tells of a wicked creature called “loup-garou", similar to a werewolf, which roams around at night in the guise of a wolf. Could this creature be related to the Garrog?

Postcode: LL28 5UD     View Location Map


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