Afanc

Also known as Avanc

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  • #0049
  • Celtic Celtic (culture)
  • Aquatic Aquatic (attribute)
  • Deadly Deadly (behaviour)

This Welsh water creature is non-specific in shape or size although it has become known as a giant beaver. The Afanc lives in a large lake where it aggressively splashes its tail to create huge waves. These waves would flood areas of Wales and Cornwall. The word Afanc comes form the word ‘beaver’. It features in many stories and is known for preying on travellers.

One Afanc lived in the Bala lake where it caused a flood. A man named Dwyfan suspected a flood would come and so he built a large boat for himself and his wife, and put all the animals of his land inside it. When the flood came, only he and his wife survived and thus they founded the British race. Another story tells of an Afanc in the Bearded Lake: Llyn Barfog, where the creature was put to sleep by the singing voice of a virgin lady. The Afanc slept in her lap while the viallgers chained the beast. The beast awoke at this and thrashed about violently killing the virgin lady. However there were too many chain binding the beast that it was safely captured. It was then dragged away to lake Cwm Ffynnon where it still lives. A variation of the story states that Peredur killed the beast. Also according to legend, Arthur killed an Afanc in single combat. King Arthur bound the dead beast and dragged it up the hills of Snowdonia. Today near the Llyn Barfo is a hoof clear hoof print preserved in a rock. This hoof print is called petrosomatoglph or ‘Carn March Arthur’ or ‘Stone of Arthur's Horse’. It was created by the horse of King Arthur, Llamrai when they carried the corpse of the Afanc up the hill.

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