Ffynnon Barruc (St Barruc’s Well)

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Ffynnon Barruc (St Barruc’s Well)
    Visions of Wales by Gerald of Wales (c. 1146 – c. 1223)
    Not far from Caerdyf is a small island situated near the shore of the Severn, called Barri, from St. Baroc who formerly lived there, and whose remains are deposited in a chapel overgrown with ivy, having been transferred to a coffin. From hence a noble family, of the maritime parts of South Wales, who owned this island and the adjoining estates, received the name of de Barri. It is remarkable that, in a rock near the entrance of the island, there is a small cavity, to which, if the ear is applied, a noise is heard like that of smiths at work, the blowing of bellows, strokes of hammers, grinding of tools, and roaring of furnaces; and it might easily be imagined that such noises, which are continued at the ebb and flow of the tides, were occasioned by the influx of the sea under the cavities of the rocks.

    Wirt Sykes – British Goblins (1881):
    This romantic island was anciently celebrated for certain ghastly noises which were heard in it — sounds resembling the clanking of chains, hammering of iron, and blowing of bellows — and which were supposed to be made by the fiends whom, Merlin had set to work to frame the wall of brass to surround Carmarthen. So the noises and eruptions of Etna and Stromboli were in ancient times ascribed to Typhon or Vulcan. But in the case of Barry I have been unable, by any assistance from imagination, to detect these mystic sounds in our day. Camden (William Camden [Born 2 May 1551 – Died 9 November 1623]), in his Britannica (1607), makes a like remark, but says the tradition was universally prevalent. The judicious Malkin, however, thinks it requires but a moderate stretch of fancy to create this Cyclopean imagery, when the sea at high tides is often in possession of cavities under the very feet of the stranger, and its voice is at once modified and magnified by confinement and repercussion.