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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). In Folk-lore and Folk-stories of Wales by Marie Trevelyan a tale is told of the water horse that resided in the River Honddu.

Near the town of Brecon the remains of a Roman camp are still to be seen. It is supposed to have been formed by Ostorius Scapula, on the site of the British camp “Caer Bannau”. This camp stands on the bank of the River Honddu.

About a century ago a weary man was lured by a small grey water-horse from the camp to the edge of the river. Opportunity was too inviting to be lost, so the man mounted the horse an in a very short space of time was set down on the banks of the Towy, not far from Carmarthen. Three days later the man was again lured by the small grey horse and carried back to the Honddu – but, as the narrator said, “in a worse state than when he left, for the Ceffyl-dwr (note: Welsh name for a water horse, similar to a Kelpie) had dragged him through mire and water, through brambles and briars, until he was scarcely knowable”.

The water-horse of the Honddu had a “tormenting” reputation

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