Llyn Llech Owain

Llyn Llech Owain 4

In a previous post I mentioned that there were several legends around this upland lake. One of them speaks of how the lake came into existence. (Welsh Llyn means lake. As far as I am aware, the ll sound is unique to Welsh. It is made by forming the normal l sound and then blowing air around the sides of the tongue. The y in llyn is pronounced as the i in win.)

There are several versions of the story, with Owain being cast as a shepherd, the keeper of the well, or even a knight of King Arthur’s Court. But the main story is always the same. The well had a protective stone covering it to prevent loss of water. (Welsh Llech which can be translated slab, slate, or flag. Obviously the preferred translation, here, would be slab. The e is pronounced as a long a, as in bake. The ch sound is fairly common around the world, not as in church, but it was once described as a clearing of the throat. That’s about right!) Owain removed the stone, either to take a drink, to water the sheep, or to water his horse, depending on which version is being told. Whatever his reason, he promptly fell asleep without replacing the stone.

He dreamt of raging torrents, only to awaken to find the well overflowing and threatening the village of nearby Mynydd Mawr. He quickly mounted his horse and rode as quickly as possible around the newly-formed lake until his horse’s tracks stemmed the flow of water, creating the lake as it is, today.

Alternatively, this is an upland lake formed by depressions in the limestone base rocks.

The photo was taken in August, 2002 with one of the early digital cameras, a Fuji Finepix. It had very limited scope for overriding the default settings and a small zoom lens. But I think I managed to get enough depth in the photo to suit its purpose.

I hope you enjoy it.


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