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The design of a Caerdroia was very similar to a classical labyrinth
A diagram of the "Classical" labyrinth

A caerdroia is a Welsh turf maze, usually in the sevenfold Cretan labyrinth design. They were created by shepherds on hilltops and were apparently the setting for ritual dances, the nature of which have been lost. At the centre of each caerdroia was a small hillock—in Welsh, twmpath. A gathering for folk dancing in Wales is still called a twmpath dawns. It is a typical labyrinth of Welsh but there is a specimen in Italy to Petrella Tifernina discovered by the historian Mario Ziccardi. This specimen is the only one in the Mediterranean area for now.


Caerdroia is the Welsh name for ancient Troy. Variations include Caer Droia and Caer Droea). Because of the similarity between Welsh troeau (a plural form of tro 'turn') and the second element Troea ('Troy'), the name was later popularly interpreted as meaning 'fortress of turns' (caer = 'fort').

Mythical link[edit]

There is another tenuous connection between Wales and Troy that has been disproven by historians but remains a resilient myth.[citation needed] Geoffrey of Monmouth, following the early Welsh historian Nennius, created a Christian/classical genealogy which placed Brutus of Troy, grandson of Aeneas and liberator of enslaved Trojans, as founder of Britain. This Brutus is generally considered a medieval fiction.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Adrian Fisher & Georg Gerster, The Art of the Maze, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (1990) ISBN 0-297-83027-9
  • Jeff Saward, Magical Paths, Mitchell Beazley (2002) ISBN 1-84000-573-4
  • Janet & Colin Bord, Mysterious Britain, Paladin Granada (1974) ISBN 0-586-08157-7
  • Kermann Kern, Labyrinthe: Erscheinungsformen und Deutungen: 5000 Jahre Gegenwart eines Urbilds (German Edition), (1981) ISBN 978-3791306148
  • Mario Ziccardi, "The Labyrinth Graffito at Petrella Tifernina, Italy", in, "Caerdroia, The Journal of Mazes&Labyrinths n°44", p.57 (2015)

External links[edit]