Hafren or Sabrina


Hafren is the Welsh Goddess of the river Severn and her Latin name is Sabrina. Geoffrey of Monmouth tells her story. A legendary married king of England fell in love with Elfridis who gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Hafren. The king’s jealous queen killed him in battle and ordered Hafren and her mother to be thrown into the river. Hafren then became a goddess of healing and gave her name to the river Severn.


Geoffrey also tells the story of three sisters, who were water spirits, meeting on the windswept slopes of Plynlimon to discuss the problem of finding the best way to the sea.  The first decided to take the most direct route, and headed westward, becoming the river Ystwyth. The second loved the landscape and made her way through hills and valleys, becoming the river Wye. The third decided against short cuts and took 180 miles to reach the sea passing through many cities and never being far from people. She became the river Severn.