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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 Welsh version of the Cornish Knockers, these mine spirits were relatively good humoured, and helped the miners by knocking in places with rich lodes of mineral, or metal. The Coblynau dressed in miners' attire, and stood at around 18 inches in height. Read More »
The Cwn Annwn, which means hounds of the otherworld (underworld), are Welsh phantom dogs seen as a death portent. Their growling is louder when they are at a distance, and as they draw near the growling grows softer and softer. Read More »
Bendith Y Mamau means 'the mothers blessing' and is a generic name for the fairies, especially in Southern Wales.
In appearance the fairies are described as small and ugly, and are most readily identified with the Brownies, or the West Country Pixies, although they have the characterisations of most fairies. Read More »
A hideous hag who haunts Welsh families, and is also associated with specific places. Read More »
A Welsh spirit similar to the English Will o' the Wisp, it appears as a light and misleads travellers from their path.
Along with black dogs, tales of fairy lights are common throughout Britain, with a different name given to a similar phenomena. In general they are seen as malevolent, guiding lone travellers into treacherous bogs. Read More »
In legend a curse was put upon the town and its entire people by a mermaid hundreds of years ago. She was found stranded on the rocks at low tide by local fishermen, who would not return her to the water no matter how much she begged. She cursed the town saying that the people would always be poor. The curse is now said to have run its course. Read More »
Llyn Tegid is Wales’s largest lake being nearly four miles long. It lies in a rift valley running north east to south west, extending down to the sea at Tywyn. The lake is 529 feet above sea level, has a maximum depth of 136 feet and covers an area of 1084 acres. Read More »
The abbey was founded in early part of the 13th century by the Cistercian monks, and was one of the grandest in Wales at its height. It was seen as a centre of education and political activity. The abbey was destroyed during the reformation. Read More »
Nanteos means the valley of the nightingale, and is a Georgian mansion house built for Thomas Powell in 1739. Read More »
St David's Peninsula is supposedly the landing place of Twrch Trwyth, the magical boar told in the story of Culhwch and Olwen in the Mabinogion, King Arthur features heavily in the story. It is also the place where St Patrick is said to have sailed for Ireland to convert them to Christianity. Read More »
Broad Haven was the scene of a UFO flap during the late 1970's. There were several reported sightings; the most widely publicised was the strange visitation to a field near to Broad Haven primary school in February 1977. Read More »
This rocky hilltop was occupied during the Neolithic period around 3800BC, when there were a number of rectangular houses on the summit. During the Iron Age the hill was fortified and served as a hillfort. A rampart, which can still be seen today, was completed around the hill with an entrance towards the Southwest. Read More »
According to folklore Adam De La Roche, a Norman landowner was told by a local wise woman that he would die by the bite of an adder, but he could escape the prophesy if he managed to get through a predicted year in safety. He built Roch Castle (which dates from the 13th century) on the volcanic outcrop so that it was far above the surrounding landscape. Read More »
This tiny chapel hidden in a deep ravine in the rocks dates from the thirteenth century. There may have been a chapel or religious structure here in the fifth century making it one of the earliest places of Christian worship. It has been suggested that the chapel was part of a larger Hermitage but its history is unclear. Read More »
The local lake is said to have been the body of water into which Arthur's sword Excalibur was cast after the battle of Cammlan.
Directions: A footpath from Bosherton leads to the lake Bosherton reached off the B4319 South of Pembroke
The cave is associated with the common legend that a fiddler (sometimes a piper in other stories) went in to the cave to play and never returned, perhaps crossing through to the fair realm. His music is still said to be heard now and again from the depths of the cave.
Directions: Pendine is reached from the A4066
There are three bridges over this part of the Mynach Gorge, each one built successively over the others, as they needed to be improved for traffic. The lowest of the bridges dating from the 11th century is the original one and is associated with a Devil legend that is common in Britain with minor variations from place to place. Read More »
The island is also known as the island of the currents and the saints. There are said to be the graves of 20,000 saints interred on the island, and legend suggests that anybody buried here will not go to hell no matter how wicked his deeds. Read More »
Bryn Hall was haunted by the ghost of a headless horseman. The haunting is said to have ceased after one of the servants received a message from the horseman pertaining to the location of a buried body.
The body was that of an illegitimate child belonging to the Lord of the hall.
The area around Cardigan Bay has a number of 'lost land' legends pertaining to it. These legends have changed over the centuries.
The most recent story concerns 'The Lost Lowland Hundred'; lands now drowned which were ruled by a King called Gwyddno Garantir. The area was protected from the sea by a system of sluices, dams and waterways. Read More »
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 ruined castle has a wishing well, which had the ability to heal eye and ear disorders. The well is reached via an underground tunnel that leads to a cave. Traditionally one had to leave a pin in its waters and then make the wish. Prehistoric skeletons have also been uncovered from within this cave, and it is likely that it was used in ancient times as a place of reverence. Read More »
This burial mound has five carved stones within its chamber, now capped by concrete to prevent their erosion. The stones are carved with a range of patterns including spirals cup marks and zig-zag features. The purpose of these marks is unknown, but they may have had some ritual function. Read More »
Llanarth church is associated with a legend of the Devil; unusually the Devil creeps into the church and tries to steal one of the church bells. (It is more common for him to steal the whole church). In the process of his theft he wakes the vicar who challenges him with the name of Christ. Eventually the Devil concedes, and jumps off the church tower. Read More »