Dinas Emrys

Two dragons fighting underground, beneath a crumbling castle tower

‘Dinas Emrys’ is the name of a hillock in north west Wales where an Iron Age hillfort once stood. The story goes that it was the warlord Vortigern who ordered a castle to be built there, when he retreated into Wales to avoid Anglo-Saxon invaders. By day his builders would erect the first tower, but overnight it collapsed – and this happened again and again! In the end, the young wizard Emrys, or Merlin, revealed the source of the problem. Two dragons were waging a furious nightly battle in a cavern beneath the castle foundations. One was a white dragon, symbolic of England, and the other was the red dragon of Wales. The white dragon was strong, but ultimately the Welsh dragon would be victorious. Watercolour, pigment markers, coloured pencil and ink.