Oak Tree Sculpture
This Oak Tree sculpture is six metres high and positioned at the Llangunnor roundabout at Carmarthen as one of a series of works aimed at making Carmarthen more attractive to residents and visitors. It commemorates the Old Oak of Carmarthen which is said to part of Merlin’s prophecy.
In local tradition, Carmarthen is said to be the birth place of the mythical magician Merlin claiming that the origin of the name Carmarthen, or Caerfyrddin comes from Myrddin, the Welsh name for Merlin. Merlin is said to have made a prophecy regarding the old oak tree:
When Merlin's Tree shall tumble down,
Then shall fall Carmarthen Town.
Other versions of the prophecy state that when the tree falls, the town will drown or flood.
Merlin's Oak was probably planted by a schoolmaster in 1659 or 1660, to celebrate the return of King Charles II of England to the throne. In the early 19th century, a local man appears to have poisoned the tree, with the intention to stop people from meeting under it, and the oak is believed to have died in the year 1856.In 1951, a branch was broken off from the tree. This fragment can still be seen in Carmarthenshire County Museum. In 1978, the last fragment of the tree was removed from its original place, and is now in Saint Peter's Civic Hall in Knott Square, Carmarthen