The Deadly Lake

Llyn Tegid or Lake Bala , on the edge of Snowdonia, is the largest natural lake in Wales being about 7 km long and 1 km wide.

There is a legend of a lost palace beneath the lake, caused by a cruel prince who refused to listen to a harpist about an impending flood that was to kill him and his guests in his castle. The harpist was led away by a bird to a hilltop, and the next morning there was a huge lake where the palace had been.

Some claim that the word Bala is derived from the Celtic "Belago" meaning the efflux of a river from a lake. The name traces its roots right back to the Celts, for the first Bala was a built beside a lake in Anatolia centuries before this Bala was named.

For many centuries Bala has been at the centre of the traditional wool trade. Perhaps this goes right back to Roman times, for Britain was renown for its woollen exports, which were much sought after as fashionable items. In fact one of the most prized possessions in the Rome  of that time was a Celtic made cloak, such as a Caracallus, a hooded cloak, the name of which entered Latin and gave us the English word cowl.

 In later years Bala became a centre of non-conformist religion, and indeed some Quakers emigrated to US in 17th century

The 'lake is said to be home to a unique fish called the Gwyniad, considered to be a form of Herring and apparently a relic of the ice-age. The lake's name comes from 'Tegid Foel' a character in the "Mabinogi" - a series of Welsh stories and legends from around the 6th Century in King Arthur's time.