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local history & folklore

Merlin King Arthur's Wizard

Carmarthen is our local town. Its Welsh name Caerfyrddin means 'Merlins Fort' and many believed that King Arthur's wizard Merlin was one of the towns earliest residents. It is believed Merlin once said "When Merlin's Tree shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen Town"

Merlins Oak stood on the corner of Oak Lane and Priory Street in the town centre, and the wizard's rather alarming prophecy was put to the test last century.  Although the tree died ion 1856, after a local man deliberately poisoned it to stop people having meetings under it, the stump remained standing until it was destroyed by fire and removed in 1978.  After its removal Carmarthen suffered the worst flooding in living memory.  Whether it was the prophecy or just coincidence, what remains of Merlin's Oak has been preserved and is on display in the civic hall.  A replacement oak has been planted at the same location, just in case!

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