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The Legend of Bishop Asaph, the Salmon and the Ring

Queen Nest, the most beautiful woman in Wales, was married to Maelgwyn Gwynedd, King of North Wales, and wore on her finger a ring handed down over generations - an ancient, sacred ring to be worn only by the Queens of the North.

While bathing in the River Elwy beside her home at St. Asaph, the ring dropped from her finger into the water. Distraught, Nest ran to Bishop Asaph to seek help in breaking the dreadful news to her husband. The Bishop comforted her and, while dining with the couple that evening, gently told Maelgwyn what had happened. The King's terrible anger was only calmed by Asaph who pointed out that personal possessions, however treasured, were not worth destroying love. The king, thus soothed, comforted his sobbing wife and all three prayed before continuing their meal.

When Asaph then served Nest with a portion of a magnificent locally-caught salmon, from the flesh, with a loud tinkle, fell the sacred ring which had traveled full circle - from finger to river to salmon and back home to Nest's finger.

This legend has been preserved to the present day in the stories depicted in the beautiful stained glass of the Cathedral window and has also been adopted by the Kentigern Hospice which is based in the grounds of H.M. Stanley Hospital at St. Asaph, and by the St. Asaph Twinning Association which has forged strong links with Begard in Brittany.

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