The Afanc is the mythical lake monster of Llangorse Lake and was said to attack and then devour anybody who entered its waters. Similar stories can be found in British and Celtic folklore attributing such creatures to inland water across the country. The earliest known literary reference to the afanc is in a poem by the 15th century Welsh poet, Lewys Glyn Cothi:
Yr avanc er ei ovyn- The afanc am I, who, sought for, bides
Wyv yn llech ar vin y llyn;- In hiding on the edge of the lake;
O don Llyn Syfaddon vo- Out of the waters of Syfaddon Mere
Ni thynwyd ban aeth yno:- Was be not drawn, once he got there
The Afanc is described in many different ways; taking the form of a demon, a fish, a crocodile, a giant beaver and even a dwarf. The modern Welsh word for beaver is Afanc. Various tales of folklore describe the Afanc meeting a grizzly end; being slain by King Arthur, being captured by the villagers of Llangorse after being lured out of the lake by a beautiful woman or killed by a giant goat. The most recent sighting of the Afanc is a recent as 1987…..
Our Afanc is much friendlier than the Afanc of the past. It doesn’t bite and is quite excited about sharing its’ water with so many swimmers. Artist Jaime Huxtable has created our Afanc for us.