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Welsh Folktales


Llangar Church, Corwen

The white washed Llangar Church can be found about a mile from Corwen and can be dated from the late 13th century though it could possibly be as old as the 11th century. Its original name of 'Llan Garw Gwyn' (The Church of The White Deer) possibly alludes to a legend dating back its initial erection. Read More »

Llech Lafar, St Davids

Llech Lafar, a speaking slab of marble by the River Alun is referred to by Wirt Sykes in his ‘British Goblins’ (1881). 'The Talking Stone Llechlafar, or stone of loquacity, served as a bridge over the river Alyn, bounding the churchyard of St. David s in Pembrokeshire, on the northern side. Read More »

Llyn Barfog (The Bearded Lake)

Llyn Barfog is situated in high countryside above the northern banks of the River Dyfi. The lake is isolated, small, and covered with yellow water lilies in the summer. Sir John Rhys in Celtic Folklore suggests that it was originally called Llyn-y-Barfog (The Bearded One’s Lake) referring to some ancient mythical being who would have lived there. Read More »

Llyn Coch (Red Lake)

If you ascend Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) on the Snowdon Ranger path you will encounter Llyn Coch. Legend has it that this lake is a favourite abode of the Tylwth Teg (Fairy Folk). There is a ‘Fairy Bride’ legend associated with the lake, one version of which goes something like this: Read More »

Llyn Cowlyd

On the edge of the Carneddau range of mountains in Snowdonia lays the deepest lake in North Wales, Llyn Cowlyd. The lake has been dammed so it is unnaturally deep, but it has given soundings of 229 feet, and has a mean depth of 109 feet. The lake is almost 2 miles long, and a third of a mile wide, with the adjacent hills dropping steeply to the lakes edges. Read More »

Llyn Du'r Arddu

In 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901) John Rhys describes the following tale he was told concerning a fairy bride in the summer of 1881. ‘An old woman, called Siân Dafydd, lived at Helfa Fawr, in the dingle called Cwm. Brwynog, along the left side of which you ascend as you go to the top of Snowdon, from the village of lower Llanberis, or Coed y Ddol, as it is there called. Read More »

Llyn Dulyn (Black Lake)

Llyn Dulyn is a small cirque lake bound by the high cliff faces of Garnedd Uchaf and Foel Grach on the edge of the Carneddau mountains. It is approximately 33 acres in area, has a mean depth of 104 feet, and is 189 feet at its deepest point. The lake has a dam which was constructed in 1881, and it now serves a reservoir for Llandudno. Read More »

Llyn Irddyn

There is an old local tradition about Llyn Irddyn, that it is unwise to walk too close the shore or the water’s edge because it is inhabited by mischievous fairies. However, they cannot harm you if you walk on the grass.

Llyn y Forwyn

The following tale of Llyn y Forwyn (Damsel’s Pool) appeared in ‘Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx’ (1901) by John Rhys and was in turn a translation of a Welsh language version featured in Elfed and Cadrawd’s ‘Cyfaill yr Aelwyd a'r Frythones’ (1892). Read More »

Llyn-yr-Afanc (The Beaver Pool)

The Beaver Pool can be found about a mile to the south of Betws-y-Coed where the A470 turns at the Fairy Glen to cross the Beaver Bridge. Legend has it, that this is the pool that the Betws-y-Coed Afangc once lived and terrorised the locals. Read More »

Llys Helig

This is another sunken palace / drowned town legend from north Wales. As the story goes, Llys Helig was the palace of Helig ap Glannog, and it once stood somewhere in the area that Conwy Bay is today. It is said to have been inundated by a great flood sometime in the 6th Century. There are several different recounts of the legend, but the one below is a popular one. Read More »

Manawyddan The Son Of Llyr

WHEN the seven men of whom we spoke above had buried the head of Bendigeid Vran, in the White Mount an London, with its face towards France; Manawyddan gazed upon the town of London, and upon his companions, and heaved a great sigh; and much grief and heaviness came upon him. Read More »

Math The Son Of Mathonwy

The following is how the the tale of 'Math The Son Of Mathonwy' appeared in the 'The Mabinogion' by Lady Charlotte Guest, (1877). Read More »

Mynydd y Fedw

In 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901), John Rhys recounted the following folktale originally passed down Siân Dafydd of Helfa Fawr, and Mari Domos Siôn of Tyn Gadlas, Llanberis who would probably have been born around 1770. Read More »

Nansi Llwyd and the Dog of Darkness

The following folktale entitled ‘Nansi Llwyd and the Dog of Darkness’ appeared in ‘The Welsh Fairy Book’ (1908) by W. Jenkyn Thomas.  NANSI LLWYD was walking in the dusk of the evening towards Aberystruth, and she was in a very bad temper, for she was longing to get married, and according to all the omens she never would. Read More »

Peredur The Son Of Evrawc

Peredur The Son Of Evrawc is one the tales in the Mabinogion. This English translation by Lady Charlotte Guest was published in 1877. Read More »

Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed

The story of Pwyll is found in the Mabinogion, a collection of old Welsh stories translated by Lady Charlotte Guest, and published in 1849. It describes how Pwyll the Lord of Dyfed meets the underworld king Arawn and how the two become close allies. Read More »

Rhyd-y-Cae Bridge, Pentrefoelas

There is a legend associated with Rhyd-y-Cae Bridge where a local man was enticed into a game of cards with Satan himself. The following account of the story appeared in Elias Owen's 'Welsh folk-lore' (1887). Read More »

Richard The Tailor Of Langattock Crickhowell

The town of Crickhowell and the village of Langattock face each other over the River Usk. Wirt Sykes in his ‘British Goblins’ (1881) recounts the following story of a gentleman called Walter Jones being taught a lesson by a local inn keeper thought to dabble in witchcraft. Read More »

River Artro

Taliesin

Whilst reading part of Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1849), I came across a link between the River Artro and Taliesin. Read More »

River Honddu Water Horse

The River Honddu (Afon Honddu) runs through the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons starting at the Vale of Ewyas and said, according to folklore, to be the home of a small grey Ceffyl-dwr (a welsh water horse similar to a Kelpie). Read More »

Rowli Pugh and the Ellyll

Wirt Sykes gave the following Glamorganshire folktale in his 'British Goblins' (1881). 'On a certain farm in Glamorganshire lived Rowli Pugh, who was known far and wide for his evil luck. Read More »

Satan At Work Near Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn

Elias Owen gives the following account of a series of disturbing experiences that befell a Sabbath breaker in his 1887 book ‘ Welsh folk-lore: a collection of the folk-tales and legends of North Wales’. The account relates to the experiences of one William Davies and was given to Owen by the late Rev. J. L. Read More »

Satan Frightening A Man For Gathering Nuts On Sunday

In his 'Welsh-folklore' (1887) Elias Owen tells the following tale related to him by Rev. W. E. Jones, rector of Bylchau, near Denbigh:— Read More »

Satan Outwitted In Trefeglwys

The following account appeared in 'Y Brython', a popular Welsh-language periodical devoted to literature, antiquities and folklore published between 1858 and 1863. It was later reprinted in Elias Owen's 'Wesh Folkore' (1887). Read More »

Craig-y-Nos Castle


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