Luel


patron of trade and commerce,
protector of travellers,
inventor of all the arts



Who was Luel?

    "Luel" was the Cumbrian variation, according to one source, on the name of a prominent figure in Celtic mythology.

    Among the Welsh he was known as Llew Llaw Gyffes (skillful hand). The Fourth Branch of the Mabinogion relates the tale of his unusual birth and childhood, and of his rise in skill and fame.
    In Ireland, his name was Lúgh Samildánach (skilled in arts). The August feast of Lúghnasadh opens the harvest season under the protection of Lúgh.
    In Gaul, he was called Lugus. Julius Caesar in his De Bello Gallico called Lugus the "Gaulish Mercury."

    Luel was associated with dogs, shoemaking and all other crafts, spears, and mistletoe.


Caer Luel

    Caer Luel, meaning "Fortress of Luel," dates earlier than the Roman occupation. The Romans called it Luguvallum/Luguvalium, or the Wall of Lugus.
    Anglo-Saxon invaders contorted the name to Carlel. The Normans gave it their own French slant as Carlisle, as it remains to this day.

photo of one of the towers of Carlisle

the eastern tower of Carlisle
from a blog about Carlisle

See Caer Luel's site in the last (4th) map on the maps page



A tale from Ireland

    "As a young man Lúg travelled to Tara to join the court of king Nuada of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The doorkeeper would not let him in unless he had a skill with which to serve the king.
    "He offered his services as a wright, a smith, a champion, a swordsman, a harpist, a hero, a poet and historian, a sorcerer and a craftsman, but each time was rejected as the Tuatha Dé already had someone with that skill.
    "But then crafty Lúg asked if they had anyone with all those skills simultaneously and the porter had to admit defeat, and Lúg joined the court. He won a flagstone-throwing contest against Ogma, the champion, and entertained the court with his harp.
    "The Irish story here makes plain that Lúg is 'all-skilled'."


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