Aberdovey Time and Tide Bell – Aberdyfi, Wales - Atlas Obscura

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Aberdovey Time and Tide Bell

Aberdyfi, Wales

According to legend, this bell once belonged to a kingdom now lost beneath the waves.  


Aberdyfi is an attractive town on the mouth of the Dovey River. The town has long since moved on from fishing and boat building to a tourist and beach destination, but a bell located under the pier recalls an ancient Welsh legend of the lost kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod—a land situated beyond the mouth of the Dovey and lost beneath the waves of Cardigan Bay.

According to legend, this occurred when a prince in charge of the dyke keeping the sea at bay forgot to close the floodgates and the sea swept the land away. Part of the legend tells how the church bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod can still be heard ringing during winter storms when the sea is rough.

The modern-day Time and Tide bell was installed in 2011 below the pier and is specially designed to be rung by the tide itself, as it flows in and out of the Dovey estuary.

Know Before You Go

Aberdyfi has two railway stations, Penhelig and Aberdyfi, and can also be reached by bus. The pier is open at all hours, except for parts restricted to those boarding boats. The bell is viewable at all hours unless, of course, covered by the sea at high tide.

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June 9, 2022

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