Posted 27th Oct 2016
South West Wales has launched a new Legends Tombstone Trail, perfect for any aspiring taphophiles out there, just in time for Halloween
From Neath Port Talbot across Swansea Bay to Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, the rich history of the area is packed full of extraordinary tales, including legendary characters such as Merlin and King Arthur, St David and the pirate king Barti Ddu.
Providing a great way to learn about these extraordinary people, the trail has been designed to allow visitors to cherry-pick sites of particular interest on a road trip that covers over 200 miles. Each of the four counties - Neath and Port Talbot, Swansea Bay, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire - will have five sites.
In the meantime here are some highlights:
Port Talbot Neath
Just an hour's drive tomb-to-tomb, there will be plenty of time to contemplate the fate of Dic Penderyn, a man who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Along with this, there's the chilling murder stone of Margaret Williams, erected after her brutal killing in the hope of pricking the conscience of the villain who took her life. There is also the tale of Robert Scott, the gamekeeper who was laid to rest after a brave encounter with a violent Army deserter. Scott is believed to still haunt Margam Castle today.
Over a one and a half hour drive, you can explore the region where a Scandinavian warlord, a hero dog, a saint rescued by seagulls and an Arctic explorer have been laid to rest. There is also Arthur's Stone - legend has it that King Arthur was travelling in Carmarthenshire when he found a stone in his shoe. He threw it and by the time it landed on Cefn Bryn, it had transformed into a massive boulder. As a site which is also a burial tomb dating back to 2500BC, it was one of the first areas to be protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882.
Carmarthenshire has been the final resting place for a songwriter, king slayer and a wailing wizard. Taking around two and a half hours to drive between all five sites, you will also encounter some very iconic names, such as Merlin, who can sometimes be heard wailing from a cave deep inside Merlin's Hill, and poet and author Dylan Thomas, who rests in St Martin's Church, Laugharne.
As well as visiting the final resting places of a saint, a pitchfork heroine and a protestor in disguise, you will also get to see a commemorative plaque of teetotal pirate king Barti Ddu, the buccaneer who was the first to fly the skull and crossbones. You will also get the chance to pay your respects to St David, patron saint of Wales, whose shrine sits in St David's Cathedral.
Full details can be found here.