Sarn Gynfelyn, Wallog

button_lang_frenchSarn Gynfelyn, Wallog

At Wallog the Wales Coast Path passes the shingle spit known as Sarn Gynfelyn – associated with the legend of a lost land – and a restored limekiln.

At low tide, the bank of shingle and larger stones extends westwards for c.650 metres. It continues as a reef for about 10km (six miles). The outer part is known to mariners as the “Cynfelin patches”.

The bank is formed of moraine, deposited by a glacier in the last Ice Age. As it slid slowly towards the sea, the glacier moved rocks from the higher ground and deposited them here as it melted. The reef and its neighbouring areas of sediment now form a wildlife habitat.

Sarn Gynfelyn means “causeway of Cynfelyn”. Cynfelyn, or Cunobelinus, was a British king shortly before the arrival of the Romans. There are two similar banks further north, near Tywyn and Harlech.

According to an ancient legend, there was once a large area of fertile low-lying land – known as Cantre’r Gwaelod – in the area of these banks. One stormy night Seithennin the watchman was drunk or distracted and failed to close the gates in the sea wall. The sea rushed in and flooded the land permanently. Some versions of the legend say the king and his courtiers escaped by running along Sarn Cynfelyn.

It’s said that the bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod can sometimes be heard from the coast. This inspired the old song Clychau Aberdyfi (“The Bells of Aberdovey”), which can be played on a 1930s carillion in Aberydyfi church tower.

Built into the bank here is a limekiln which retains its decorative features. Local farmers needed lime to fertilise their fields but Ceredigion is the only county in Wales which has no limestone of its own. Limestone and coal were carried by sea to Wallog and other places along the Ceredigion coast. The stone was loaded through the top of the kiln and burned. The finished lime was removed from the base.

Postcode: SY23 3DR    View Location Map

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