Legends and Rememberances
Hall of Memories
Tales told around a camp fire
of friends present and past,
of Foes Perilous (but friendly),
of skilled artisans and beautiful craft work,
of the generosity of gentlefolk,
of the death of kings,
No sh–t, there we were . . .
The Hall of Memory for the Barony of Bryn MadocLord Dyfn’s personal site on the history of Bryn Madoc: “As a tapestry is woven of many threads, so Bryn Madoc is composed of many lives.” (link goes to an external website)
The Legend of Prince Madoc
In days of legend lived a prince of the Britons, Madac ab Owain, descended from kings in a line stretching beyond years, unto Bran the Blessed. The blood of kings flowed through his veins, but a wanderer’s heart beat in his chest. When his father, mighty Owain Gwynedd, died untimely, Madoc watched his six brothers squabble for the crown. He forsook his birthright and gathered instead folk to him. With his brother Rhirid, Madoc set sail past the horizon, seeking the setting sun in search of a new life.
Long the voyage across vast oceans, Madoc’s folk settled in a fertile bay, thriving for several years, until they drew the enmity of nearby tribes. The settlers were forced inland, crossing river and wood before arriving in a land much like their old home. There they built a stronghold on a mountain top. The legends tell of a crystalline stone which sent dreams to the prince, visions of distant places, peoples, and futures. He kept this Dreamstone close, treasuring the sacred relic. Whether by the Dreamstone’s influence or his own wisdom, the folk of Madoc once again began to prosper.Other folk already lived in those hills, and they turned against the newcomer settlers, first with raids and then with open battle. The warriors of Madoc were mighty and fearless but few, and eventually all were forced to retreat to their fort. Besieged, the son of Owain looked once more into the shimmering Dreamstone and beheld two paths for his folk. One path showed a great but hopeless battle, and ravens thick on the ramparts. The other path showed a mighty river, and the harried remnants of his folk finding welcome among the native peoples. Legend says the Welsh settlers left the mountains and found a home among a tribe which would be known as the Mandans.
No history tells of Madoc’s fate. It may be that he led his people to seek a new home in the North. Most feel that Madoc died defending his mountain fastness, giving battle to the besieging enemies to give his own tribe the chance to escape. For in the end the Dreamstone lay hidden among the fallen stones of the Welsh fort, and no man would willingly part with such subtle and potent power as the Dreamstone possessed.The settlers of Madoc have long vanished, their fates lost in the fog of ages.
Yet Madoc’s prized jewel has been recovered and once again holds a place of honor. The spiritual heirs of Madoc may justly reclaim that territory for which the Welsh settlers fought. For his courage, his wisdom and his vision, we honor Prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd, ap Gruffydd, ap Cynan, ab Iago, ab Idwal, ap Murig, ab Idwal Foel, ab Anarawd, ap Rhodri Mawr, ap Merfyn Frych, ap Gwriad, ab Elidir, ap Sandde, ab Alcwn, ap Tegid, ap Gwair Caid, ap Dwywg, ap Llywarch Hen, ab Elidir, ap Merchion Gul, ap Gwrwst, ap Cenyw, ap Col Hen, ap Tehvant, ap Urban, ap Gradd, ap Rhyfedel, ap Rhyddrech, ab Euddigan, ab Eudeyrn, ab Eifydd, ab Eudos, ab Euddolen, ab Afallach, ap Lludd Llaw Ereint, ab Beli Mawr, ap Monnogan Degeuillus, ab Eneid, ap Cerwyd!
The Legend of Fort Mountain
Fort Mountain takes its name from the remnants of a stone formation located on its peak.
This ancient 885 feet-long rock wall was built from local stones. It stands up to 12 feet thick and up to seven feet high. The wall has cairns, stone rings, and the ruins of a gateway.
Legends say that the wall was built either by the “Moon-eyed people,” of Cherokee lore, or a Welsh prince said to have made his way to America in 1170.
According to Cherokee tradition, the moon-eyed people lived nearby, saw poorly during the day but well at night. They were described as small in stature, the men bearded, light-eyed, and having pale white skin.
Who were these moon-eyed people? Some say they might be Welsh. Prince Madoc set sail in 1170 and was said to have landed somewhere around Mobile Bay, Alabama. Later, Madoc returned to Wales and recruited ten more ships to settle in America. After setting sail, they were never heard from in Wales again. Possibly, Fort Mountain wasn’t the only fort they built.
Legend also attributes one near DeSoto Falls, Alabama, said to be nearly identical to the setting, layout, and method of construction of Dolwyddelan Castle in Wales, the birthplace of Madoc.