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---------LLYS HELIG.

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LLYS HELIG. A TRADITION CONFIRMED. A tradition has been current from time immemorial that the whole district now covered by the Menai Straits was once a fertile and populous country, and that in the centre of it stood the great palace of Llys Helig. This tradition determined Mr William Ashton, of Southport, to make a visit to the spot to endeavour to settle the ques- tion, and he gives the following interest- ing account of his observation in the n "Manchester Guardian" of Thursday last: There fell into my hands some twelve months ago a manuscript dated May, 1865, written by Mr Chorlton R. Hall, of Liverpool, then settled in Llandudno. It describes an attempt made by him and others to discover the ruins of the sub- merged palace. They were guided by Lewis Morris's map—the first one made on Government, authority—as to the posi- tion in which the rocks or ruins lay. The date; of the visit was August 19th, 1864. A long search revealed nothing until a. black mass was observed floating on the surface of the water. This proved to be seaweed. Guided by it, they groped for the rocks or walls to which the weed was attached. But no remains appeared above the surface. A sketch was made, of the lines shown by the seaweed and sub- merged stones, and the conclusion arrived at was that here were probably the actual foundations of Helig's palace. This evi- dence was by no means conclusive. Since that date, now forty-four years ago, at least three attempts have been made to settle the question, but without any con- clusive results. In .September, 1906, Mr W. J: P. Arrowsmith, of Deganwy, ex- amined the spot under fairly favourable conditons, but he was unable to make out any structural plan or design. Some photographs were, with difficulty, taken on this occasion. Clearly the scientist worthy of the name would require better evidence that these were not merely lines of submerged rocks. And this has been the view of one authority at least on the archaeology of this coast, whose opinion is entitled to respect and who himself made two fruitless attempts last year to 4 discover the remains by searching the neighbourhood from Deganwy. The only possible chance of the remains being visible would clearly be not only at the extreme ebb of an abnormally high tide but when the weather was sufficiently calm to permit of a small boat going out. Suffi- ciently high tides would only occur short- ly before or after Nlarch and September equinoxes, when the weather is particu- larly liable to be the reverse of calm. Even then the chances seemed rather remote that anything could be seen other than the attached seaweed. But I resolved to take advantage of an extraordinary low tide following on one so abnormally high (21ft. lOin.) that the newspapers a, day or two before had contained warnings to dwellers on low-lying parts to. make preparations Z!1 against possible flooding. Three, weeks of continuous storms had been succeeded by a lull and a rising barometer. So the long journey was ma,de, a boatman, Richard Thomas, of Old Penmaenmawr, engaged, and in the early dawn the two of us began to drag a boat from its winter quarters down to low water over some hundreds of yards of soft sand. By 8 a.m. we were alongside a black mass of seaweed Z, which we discerned some time after leav- ing the beach opposite Penmaenmawr sta- tion. The spot is, a,proximately, two miles from low water opposite Trwyn-yr- Wyifa, the low hill which projects out from the base of Moei Llys, midway between Penmaenmawr and Penmaenbach. It, lies also on a, line running from Beaumaris to Gogarth Abbey, on the Great Orme, from which it will be about three miles dis- tant. We were just in time to catch the tide at its lowest. Such a, combination of 1 tide and weather conditions will probably ¡ not occur more than once in several years. To this was doubtless due the ease with which our discovery of the apparent, ruins was made. A north-westerly breeze made standing up in the boat distinctly risky. I accordingly landed on a rock which jutted out, fully two feet above the water and made a, rapid survey. Clearly this was no promiscuous collection of rocks. Perfectly straight lines of stones were at once noted, in all cases covered with a sturdy sword-shaped kind of seaweed growing perpendicularly from strong- round stalks as much as an inch in diameter and impossible to break or dis- lodge without cutting. On the north and east, or seaward, sides the. stones were irregularly strewn about, but often ap- peared a, few inches above the water. On the east side the line of wall was fairly well seen almost, flush with the, surface On the south and west sides, looking to- wards Dwygyfylchi and Bangor, 0 the tumbled remains of the walls were per- fectly straight and well marked either by seaweed or slightly jutting stones. The storms of at least thirteen, and it may be of sixteen centuries (one account gives A.D. 331 and another the early part of the sixth century as the date of the crest inundation) have done their natural work in throwing down the walls, and the posi- tions of the stones, some of which ap- peared to. be of a pinky granite, are as might be expected. The west wall is about 80 ya,rds in length, the south wall is about 90 yards, the junction of the two being broken by a truly rectangular re- cess perhaps 20 yards on each side. The south and west walls run at exact right- angles with each other. Twice we, rowed round the entire ruin, vhich must be 300 to 400 yards in circumference. Just be- fore we left, after an examination of about forty-five minutes, the, tide then rapidly risngJ. two outlying rocks were noticed at the C'onway end, a few feet; apart and about 70 yards distant, from the south-east corner. A submerged line of stones connected them with the main j building, as we found by probing with a,n I oar. Ths may ha,ve been a portion of a sarn, or causeway, which possibly con- nected the palace with the mainland at some time when a gradually subsiding coast had isolated the building from the mainland. That such a causeway once (connected Pijiestholme with Penmaen- bach is part of the tradition. The final submergence would probably come sud- denly in accordance with the traditional account, and would, no doubt, be due to a land subsidence. The four perfectly straight lines of re- mains, the three true right-angles formed by them, the precise coincidence of the site—"much about the middle way from Penmaenmawr and Gogarth"—with that given in the traditional accounts, to- gether with the large amount, of collateral evidence as to a subsidence of this coast having taken place within historical times, are considerations which taken to- gether warrant the belief that these are in all probability the actual remains of a grand old hall of regal dimensions—that occupied by Helig ab, Glanwg. WM. ASHTON.

OCTOBER MAGAZINES.

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