NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Pen Palach

‘Cudgel Head’

A monster slain by Arthur in the halls of Dissethach.

The Welsh pen, in geographical names, means the highest part or the extreme end, as of a mountain, a field, or a meadow. In Scotland there is ben, ‘a mountain’; Gaelic cen or cenn with the same meaning as pen and ben. Some Scottish places are Benmore (Penmawr), ‘great mountain’; Pencraig, ‘top of the rock’; Penpont, ‘end of the bridge’, and so on. European names gives us information about the earlier Celtic settlements, such as Pennine, Penne, Penmark, and Apennines.

Pa gur yv y porthaur | Poem 31 of the Black Book of Carmarthen, probably c. 1100