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Gwales


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[cf. W gwales, shelter, lair].

Name for an otherworldly island off the south-west coast of Dyfed (until 1974, Pembrokeshire), often identified, like Caer Siddi, with the actual tiny islet (21 acres) of Grassholm, 6.5 miles W of Skomer Island. Bendigeidfran's severed head presided over eighty years of joyous feasting here before it was removed to Gwynfryn in London; the feast was attended by the seven survivors of the war with Matholwch, who were oblivious to the passing of time until Heilyn fab Gwyn ended the spell by opening the door. Along with its assumed identity with an actual place, Gwales is also an example of Annwfn, the Welsh Otherworld. See also HARLECH.

Subjects: Religion.


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