Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Llangorse, Powys. This is the name of a village and a lake — both lie southwards from Talgarth; and of a line of hills running almost due North to South into the Usk valley. The village has an ancient church, and so has each of the Tal-y-llyn (Lake Head) hamlets, Llanfihangel and Llangasty, at the side of the water. Strangely enough, as there is a Tal-y-llyn under the wall of Cader Idris in Merioneth, so there is a Gader Hill here above the two Tal-y-llyn villages and Llangorse. Again the churches have ancient stones inscribed in a way familiar to students of these remote places. Nearby is the Llandewi where Gerald de Barn had his home, and the site of Peytyngwyn to which Owain Glyndwr set the torch in revenge for the betrayal of him attempted by its owner, Sir David Gam. And, at a farm now known as Troed-y-Harn, is the place once called Tref Trahaiarn, from which the young Trahaiarn rode to meet De Braose, to be treacherously beheaded and to start the war of revenge that ended in disaster at Painscastle.
But Llangorse is famous above all for its lake, called Syfaddan in Welsh, which was once swum by pike and perch and by eels so tremendous that they have inspired the description “cyhyd a llyswen Syfaddan” (long as a Syfaddan eel). It is a reeded, shallow stretch flocked over by fowl of many wild sorts that, as Gerald de Barn stated, acknowledged by their rising and crying only the true blood of the Kings of Wales. This he recounts, was a salutation they refused to give to the Norman Marcher Lords who passed that way. It has a legend of a sunken city. In 1650 a special Parliamentary survey was given to its richness as a fishery; in 1695 this note was made: “In the greate poole called Llyn Savathan once stood a faire citie which was swallowed up in an earthquake and resigned her stone walls into this deep and broad water, being stored most richly with fish in such abundance as is incredible. And indeed the fishermen of this place have oftentimes taken up goodes of severall sortes from the very hart of the Poole but whether these might be goodes that were cast away in crossing the water is onknowne but we have never heard of any such mischance in our time”.
Tales abounded of roofs and walls that were seen in certain lights below the water. The legend is an example of the genuine folk-memories that linger in this exaggerated form. About 1925 a “cafn unpren”, a primitive canoe made out of a single tree-trunk, was recovered from the lake, dating to the period, several thousand years ago, when settlers built stakes out into the water and raised hutments upon them.
From Penyfan above Llangorse village is a beautiful view of the lake, 5 miles in circumference, and of the hills that stretch South towards the steel and mining towns. On the top of Mynydd Troed are scattered the hut circles of earlier and vanished civilization.
Nearby towns: Abergavenny, Brecon, Talgarth
Nearby villages: Aber-Bran, Beaufort, Blackrock, Boughrood, Bronllys, Brynmawr, Bwlch, Capel-y-ffin, Cathedine, Crickadarn, Crickhowell, Cwmdu, Erwood, Felin Fach, Gilwern, Glasbury, Govilon, Gwenddwr, Hay-on-Wye, Llanbedr, Llanbedr, Llandefalle, Llanfrynach, Llangattock, Llangenny, Llangynidr, Llanhamlach, Llanigon, Llansantffread, Llanspyddid, Llanstephan, Llanthony, Llanwenarth, Llowes, Llyswen, Lower Chapel, Merthyr Cynog, New Castle, Partrishow, Talybont-on-Usk, Tretower, Upper Chapel, Velindre
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation