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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 of stopping people from meeting under it, and the oak is believed to have died in 1856.
In 1951, a branch was broken off 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 Nott Square, Carmarthen.
A local prophecy says that:
When Merlin's Oak 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, The Old Oak, and the Black Book of Carmarthen". www.carmarthen.info. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- "Carmarthen". www.enchantedtowy.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-28.