The Beast of Bont

A brief public article from the trailblazing, dragon-tracing subscribers’ site: the Song of Ffraed:

I’d traversed the beast’s territory…well a snippet of it, and not alone, I’ll admit…and we’d come through it, unscathed. Not that I knew at the time that these fields and snake-ridden marshes were the hunting grounds of a terrifying beast, mind. That knowledge came later, when I got home and my weary eyes fell upon the blood-curdling tales of the nightmarish, ‘Beast of Bont’.

Bont is the shortened name used by the locals for their once-thriving village, Pontrhydfendigaid. The name means, ‘the bridge of the blessed ford’.

A cottage in Lisburne Road, Pontrhydfendigiad, just after Cors Caron. Ffraed flows through it, of course.

Only one site on this long journey from St. Bride’s, in Pembrokeshire, had had more spirals than this farmland I’d walked with the farmer. The land here has 10 of them! All sorts of sizes and some, my companion noticed, were aligned, bang on east. I really liked this jovial farmer.

My bag marks the centre of a huge spiral just a little below the summit of a hill.

One of the spirals, he informed me, was centred on the spot where his brother had levelled a stone-filled mound decades ago, right on what would have been, many centuries previously, the shore of a vast lake. Another spiral sat around the shoreline a couple of hundred yards along Ffraed’s course. We were right in the peaty marsh now, Cors Caron. In wet winters, shallow waters return to remind the ghosts still lingering of their former home. Now there were just cattle, including a massive bull. No, he isn’t the fearsome beast of which I tell now…but knew nothing of then. Actually it’s a haven for native flora, and wildlife including adders, otters, and pine martens…Oh, and a golden eagle now and again. Did I just say, a golden eagle?¹

I’d followed Y Ddraig through Swyddfynnon, crossing the bridge, touching the little well, gliding through the old school’s grounds, and the former smithy. We crossed another bridge, slipped through the front of the once flour mill, turned and passed by a chapel along the way. We’d wound all over the green hills, up and down, across and sideways. Beautiful old May trees marked Her dance steps through fences and boundaries while sheep hurried from their disturbed reveries.

One of the old May trees centred on Y Ddraig’s flow.

All the while the farmer stayed with me scrutinising my weaving passage and commenting on the land and its moods, folklore, history and such…not a word about the beast though, and we walked all the way to Bont! For sixty years he’d lived and worked on this farm; he’d never walked from the farmhouse to Bont before. “I’ll sleep well tonight,” he added.

 

1: Tis a piece about the golden eagle over another village in the area – but it’s the same one, unfortunately. Golden eagle over Pontrhydygroes.

How cool would it be to have a mating pair. The only golden eagle I’ve seen on this journey was at Llanllawer, during Beltane this year, but it wasn’t this kind. If I do spot the eagle on my travels I’ll let you know.

 

Ellis
18th July 2018

This dragon current has to dat (23rd July 2018) been walked from St. Bride’s Abbey, in Pembrokeshire to Strata Florida, in Cerdigion. The journey has been documented in www.theSongofFfraed.com

 

Read about the Beast of Bont:

The Independent, 4 April 1997: A mysterious predator is stalking the sparsely populated mid-Wales countryside and spread- ing alarm among farming communities.

BBC, 26 August, 2000: Police marksmen combed the Tywi Forest to no avail, and later planned to shoot the creature from a helicopter with heat-seeking equipment.

Wales Online, 8 JAN 2004: “It was dark but I saw two glowing eyes looking straight at me and knew it was not a dog,” said Mrs Marshall, who lost one of her rare Torwen lambs to the mystery beast.

Wales Online, 11 MAY 2012: Could this be the clearest indication yet that a savage beast is roaming the remote hills and mountains of Wales?

The Telegraph, 15 May 2012: Locals have reported sighting of an unknown creature since the 1970s, and now fear the predator could have struck again. 

The Express, 16 May 2012: The bloody carcasses were found scattered across moorland by two ­people who described the carnage as “sickening”.

It’s often said that man is the only animal who kills for fun, but that’s actually not true. Animals that thrill kill are actually pretty common; scientists call it “surplus killing.” Animals that kill for no reason range from mammals to reptiles, and even insects in some rare cases.  So, which animals kill for sport, and how do they do it? The subject is just as fascinating as it is horrifying.
Vicious Animals That Kill Just for Fun

A strange short documentary film that seeks to view the Beast of Bont as some kind of psychological trauma or mass hysteria when it is clearly manifest activity. Nevertheless, an interesting interview with a witness, local farmer, Raymond Osbourne Jones.
Beast of Bont – Catrine Davies

This beast ismost often described as a black big cat but there have been other suggestions. In the City of London, outside the doors of St. Michael’s church, Cornhill is a war memorial with St. Michael, his sword aloft and two big fearsome black cats on the prowl beside him, representing evil and the darkness. Darkness is attracted to light- perhaps in some way other than, and as well as, physically, the Beast of Bont is that darkness stalking the light of Strata Florida. Image of the beasts on the statue

 

I may have discovered the beast’s lair! In Lisburne Road…and it was at home….ssshhhhh:

Who would have thought to look there?

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