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Welsh Folktales


Satan Playing Cards At A Merry Meeting

It was formerly a general custom in Wales for young lads and lasses to meet and spend a pleasant evening together in various farmhouses. Many kinds of amusements, such as dancing, singing, and card playing, were resorted to, while away the time. The Rev. Read More »

Satan Taking Possession Of A Man Who Fished On Sunday

The following tale is in its main features still current in Cynwyd, a village about two miles from Corwen. The first reference to the story that I am acquainted with appeared in an essay sent in to a local Eisteddfod in 1863. The story is thus related in this essay:— Read More »

Segontium Roman Fort

Segontium Roman Fort

This is the remains of a Roman auxiliary fort, one of the largest, and last to be abandoned by the Romans in North Wales. It was built by Gnaeus Julius Agricola in around 77 AD after his victory over the native tribe, the Ordovices. Read More »

Sir David Llwyd of Yspythi Ystwyth

The village of Ysbyty Ystwyth is thought to have been the property of the Knights Hospitallier ( Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem) and also, maybe the home of one of Wales infamous magicians. Read More »

Spirit of Llyn-Nad-y-Forwyn

The following folk tale of a haunting beside the River Colwyn in Beddgelert was taken from Elias Owen's Welsh Folk-Lore (1896). 'It is said that a young man was about to marry a young girl, and on the evening before the wedding they were rambling along the water's side together, but the man was false, and loved another better than the woman whom he was about to wed. Read More »

St Cynfarch and St Mary Church, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd

According to Elias Owen in his 'Welsh folk-lore: a collection of the folk-tales and legends of North Wales' (1887) 'For the following legend, I am indebted to Mr. R. Prys Jones, who resided for several years in the parish of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd. In answer to a letter from me respecting mysterious removal of churches, Mr. Read More »

St Digain's Church, Llangernyw

St Digain's Church in Llangerny has a unique living ancient monument, a male yew tree that is possibly aged 4000 to 5000 years making it one of the oldest living organisms in the world. There is also a tradition associated with the church and All Hallows Eve when a spirit would reputedly announce the names of those about to die from the altar. Read More »

St Giles' Church In Wales, Wrexham

One of the Seven Wonders of Wales, St Giles’ Church dates from the 16th century and has an interesting piece of folklore attached to it. Alfred. Read More »

St Gwynog’s Church, Aberhafesp

St Gwynog’s Church in Aberhafesp currently dates from 1857 when the earlier church was rebuilt. Though the first parish registers date from 1578, there are records of a church here in Aberhafesp dating back to 1254. The church is dedicated to the 6th century Gwynog (Born 511 – Died 580), the son of Gildas. Read More »

St Tysilio's Church, Llandysilo

The Gothic St Tysilio's in Llandysilo dates from 1867 but is built on the foundations of a much earlier church. Thought to be founded by St Tysilio early in the 7th century there are records of a chapel here dating back as early as 1254 and 1291. It was probably this earlier building that was reputedly haunted by a spirit which was according to folklore exorcised. Read More »

St. Llechid's Church, Llanllechid

The Church of St Llechid is a Grade II listed building. Built to replace a much earlier 15th century church, the building dates from 1844. There is a siting legend relating the building of original St. Read More »

St. Tydecho Stone

In the village of Llanymawddwy, there is an ancient church dedicated to St. Tydecho, thought to be the son of Anna Pendragon, King Arthur’s sister. Wirt Sykes in British Goblins (1881) gives the following tale of St. Tydecho and a blue stone. ‘There was a stone in the valley of Mowddwy, which did good service for the church. A certain St. Read More »

Strange Lands By Andrew L Paciorek

Strange Lands

Andy Paciorek is one of Mysterious Britain & Irelands favourite contributors and his amazing artwork can be found illustrating articles throughout this site. Read More »

Taliesin the Bard

Taliesin

This is the version translated by Lady Charlotte Guest, and published in 1849 in the collection of old Welsh tales entitled the Mabinogion. Traditionally Taliesin is placed in the time of Arthur, which is generally believed to be in the 6th century AD. Read More »

The Devil Appearing To A Dissenting Minister At Denbigh

“The Rev. Mr. Thomas Baddy, who lived in Denbigh Town, and was a Dissenting Minister in that place, went into his study one night, and while he was reading or writing, he heard some one behind him laughing and grinning at him, which made him stop a little—as well indeed it might. Read More »

The Devil’s Tree, Llanrhos

The following account entitled 'The Devil’s Tree by Eglwys Rhos' appeared in Elias Owen's 'Welsh Folk-lore' (1887). 'At the corner of the first turning after passing the village of Llanrhos*, on the left hand side, is a withered oak tree, called by the natives of those parts the Devil’s Tree, and it was thought to be haunted, and therefore the young and timid were afraid to pass it Read More »

The Dream of Rhonabwy

Lady Charlotte Guest published the first English translation of The Mabinogion and below is how the tale of The Dream of Rhonabwy appeaed in it [1877]. Read More »

The Great Giant of Henllys

The original tale first appeared in The Athenaeum, published in 1847, and tells how a tyrannous figure became even more fearsome as a ghost after he had died. Three brave priests finally exorcise the ghost with a mix of magic and prayer. Read More »

The Gwiber of Penmachno

Penmachmo

The word "gwiber" in Welsh means viper or adder but many centuries ago the word actually meant "flying snake" . This is the story of how Wibernant (meaning "valley of the gwiber) which is near Penmachno got its name. Read More »

The Lady Of The Fountain

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

The Llandegla Spirit

The parish church of Llandegla is dedicated to St Tecla of Iconium (modern day Konya in Turkey) and though the original building dated from 1273, it was rebuilt in 1866 by Lady Margaret Willoughby de Broke. There is a folk-tale and tradition concerning the haunting and subsequent exorcism of the rectory. Read More »

The Lost Land of Wales

This tale is one of two stories of a similar theme attached to Cardigan Bay in Gwynedd. This story is the later one of the two and explains how a realm was lost to the sea through debauchery and drunkenness. There are traces of walls and roadways under the sea at Cardigan Bay, they can be seen at low tide and may have given rise to the legend of the 'Lost Lowland Hundred'. Read More »

The Old Man And The Fairies

The following story appeared in P. H. Emerson's 'Welsh Fairy-Tales and Other Stories' (1894).  Many years ago the Welsh mountains were full of fairies. People used to go by moonlight to see them dancing, for they knew where they would dance by seeing green rings in the grass. Read More »

The Shepherd of Myddvai

LynnY Fan Fach

This tale tells how a young shepherd won and lost a fairy bride from Lynn y Fan Fach (Van Vach), the fairy lake at the foot of Bannau Sir Gaer in the Brecon Beacons. This version was collected and told by Joseph Jacobs and appeared in his book Celtic Fairy Tales published in 1892 (David Nutt). Read More »

The Tale of Nant Gwrtheyrn

When Thomas Pennant was touring Wales, he noted that the three farms on the Nant were Tŷ Hen, Tŷ Canol and Tŷ Ychaf respectively. Read More »



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