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The Black Book of Carmarthen The Black Book of Carmarthen
Merlin, The Old Oak, and the Black Book of Carmarthen
Called the 'Black Book' because it's got a black cover (obviously) .... it was written in 12th - 13th century, totally in Welsh, and the best bit of all is that it mentions Merlin (Myrddin)..... the legendary wizard ..... you know, the one who was best buddies with King Arthur.
The book itself is kept at The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth (here's a link to their website).
The most exciting bit about this story of Merlin and his magic is the 'Old Oak' though - a truly magnificent work of art that sat quite happily for centuries on the corner of Priory Street. Entombed in it's stone base and surrounded by steel spikes it's plaque said "When Merlin's Oak shall tumble down ....then will fall Carmarthen Town" (or something along those lines anyway) ..... the reason I can't quite remember is that when you're a nipper on your way home from Priory Street School and you have to walk past the 'Old Oak' each night you don't so much walk as run ...... 'cos that's Merlin's Oak see and it's full of magic and stuff.
Anyway, that Old Oak never did do anybody any harm, even when they ripped it up a few years ago - were they evil swines who should have left one of the World's greatest historical monuments where it was, or brave heroes challenging the might of Merlin and all his mystical powers. I don't know really, that's for you to decide .... but I wish the swines had left it there.
1949
Pictured in 1949
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1936


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1965
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