Hunting wild megaliths in West Wales last week, we took a detour to Devil’s Bridge in Ceredigion, near Aberystwyth.It’s an extraordinary gorge – at the top, three separate bridges are stacked on top of one another. The most recent is an iron bridge from 1901, under this is one from 1753 and under that, the original from 1075–1200.
Here the River Mynach drops a spectacular 90 metres down the ravine until it meets the River Rheidol. According to legend the original bridge was built by the Devil because it was too difficult for humans and in return the Devil would take the soul of the first living thing that crossed it. He was tricked by an old woman who threw bread onto the bridge so that her dog ran across. The Devil was furious but didn’t want the soul of a dog and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
I drew onto Fabriano paper prepare with my home-made walnut ink, using carbon and Daler Rowney soft pastels.
I’m travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments based on the trail of The Boar Hunt, Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, a book of Welsh Legend. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.