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Trichug


Trichrug or Pen-y-bicws is a hill in the Brecon Beacons standing 415m in height. It is associated with both a stone throwing giant and local fairies. 'Cambrian Superstitions'(18341) by W Howells explains that ‘Trichrug, a mountain of Cardiganshire, so called from three small mountains being connected with it, was celebrated not only as a place of fairy resort, but as being once the spot where stood the seat of a giant, whose grave (as some say) is still to be seen, and which is described as fitting anyone who will lie within it, whether he be tall or short, and that the person so lying in it will have renewed strength; tradition also relates, that if arms are placed therein they will be immediately destroyed. It is said of this giant, that he invited the neighbouring giants to try their strength with him in throwing stones, and that he won victory by throwing his quoit to Ireland!’

Wirt Sykes in his ‘British Goblins’ (1881) recounts the same tale. ‘The giant of Trichrug, (a fairy haunt in Cardiganshire,) appears to have been the champion pebble-tosser of Wales, if local legend may be trusted. Having invited the neighbouring giants to try their strength with him in throwing stones, he won the victory by tossing a huge rock across the sea into Ireland. His grave is traditionally reported to be on that mountain, and to possess the same properties as the Expanding Stone, for it fits any person who lies down in it, be he tall or short. It has the further virtue of imparting extraordinary strength to any one lying in it; but if he gets into it with arms upon his person they will be taken from him and he will never see them more.’

The following story referring to fairies at Trichrug was published in ‘Folklore of West and mid-Wales (1911) by Jonathan Ceredid Davies (Born 1859 – Died 1932) ’When Mr. T. Compton Davies, heard about John among the Fairies he went to him and begged him to tell him all about it ; and he did so. According to John's own account of his night adventure it was something as follows :— When he got lost in the bog, he followed the light, till presently, he came to a. Fairy ring, where a large number of little Fairy ladies danced in it, and to his great surprise, one of them took his arm, so that John also began to dance. And after a while, the Queen of the Fairies herself came on to him, and asked him, "Where do you come from?" John replied, "From the world of mortals," and added that he was a painter. Then she said to him, that they had no need of a painter in the world of Fairies, as there was nothing getting old there. John found the Fairies all ladies, or at least he did not mention any men. They were very beautiful, but small, and wearing short white dresses coming down to the Icnees only. When he took out from his pocket his flute and entertained them by playing some Irish, Scotch, and English aiis, the Queen informed him that they (the Fairies) were of Welsh descent. Then John played some Welsh airs from Owen Alaw to the great delight of the Fairy ladies, and they had a merry time of it. John soon became a, great favourite, and asked for something to drink, but found they were " teetotals." Then he fell in love with one of the Fairy ladies, and asked the Queen for the hand of the maiden, and informed her that he had a horse named Bob, as well as a cart of his own making. The Queen in reply said that they were not accustomed to mix with mortals, but as he had proved himself such a musician, she gave her consent under the conditions that he and the little lady should come once a, month on the full moon night to the top of Mount Trichrug to visit the Fairies. Then the Queen took hold of a pot full of gold which she intended giving John as a dowry, but, unfortunately, at the very last moment, when he was just going to take hold of it, old Peggi TyClottas came to shout and to sjjoil the whole thing; for as soon as the Fairy ladies saw old Peggi, they all vanished through some steps into the underground regions and John never saw them again. But he continued to believe as long as he lived that he had been with the Fairies.'


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