The Dragons of Wales

The Dragons of Wales

Genesis 6:19
“And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.”

Wales seems to be a land of dragons. Even the flag of the tiny principality – a part of the United Kingdom to the West of England – is the Ddraig Goch, or Red Dragon. Legends from ancient times tell of dragons throughout Britain of varying shapes and sizes – probably indicating different animals.

Some remarkable tales date to relatively recent times. In 1909, Marie Trevelyan – a collector of folk tales – published her Folk-Lore and Folk-Stories of Wales. Modern internet publishing has brought this book back into print. In a chapter headed “Dragons, Serpents, and Snakes”, Trevelyan records some fascinating interviews. She writes:

An aged inhabitant of Penllyne, who died a few years ago, said that in his boyhood the winged serpents were described as very beautiful…. When angry, they “flew over people’s heads, with outspread wings bright, and sometimes with eyes, too, like the feathers in a peacock’s tail.” He said it was “no old story”, invented to “frighten children”, but a real fact. His father and uncles had killed some of them, for they were “as bad as foxes for poultry.”

Trevelyan also refers to contemporary sightings of these winged serpents at Beaupré, about 18 miles away, and Penmark, close to where Cardiff Airport is today. The matter-of-fact language used suggests real sightings of creatures which sound like small pterosaurs. Dinosaurs and pterosaurs must have been represented on the Ark, so it is not impossible that some survived in Wales up to the 19th century.

Prayer: We praise Your Name, Lord God, for the many wonderful creatures that You made – including those which we do not seem to have around anymore. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: Trevelyan, M. (1909, re-published 2007), Folk-Lore and Folk-Stories of Wales (, pp. 168-169.

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