The following accounts appeared in ‘The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain by John Ingram (1897).
Country and County: Wales
The history of Neath and the surrounding area dates back to Roman times, so it is little wonder that this small Welsh town is teaming with all manner of ghosts, from the long dead monks that still wander among the ruins of Neath Abbey to the voices of ghostly miners to be found deep in the mountains.
St Nidan’s Church in Llanidan is associated with a stone that had strange magical like properties including aiding fertilisation and having the power to move on its own. Wirt Sykes in his British Goblins (1881) mentions that ‘The old British historian Nennius speaks of a stone, one of the wonders of the Isle
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.
The medieval church of St Meilig was rebuilt in 1853, though the bottom of the tower may be a remnant of the earlier building. Inside the church is a standing stone with a cross carved into it, which possibly dates from the 6th or 7th century. The stone which is thought to have stood at or near the site of a 6th century monastery founded by St Meilig at Croesfeilig.
The following description of the Alluring Stone appeared in ‘British Goblins’ (1881) by Wirt Sykes. ‘In Carmarthen are still to be found traces of a belief in the Alluring Stone, whose virtue is that it will cure hydrophobia. It is represented as a soft white stone, about the size of a man s head, originally found on a farm called Dysgwylfa, about twelve miles from Carmarthen town.
A famous Welsh witch, who used to sleep under stone at Llanberis, in North Wales, was called Canrig Bwt, and her favourite dish at dinner- was children’s brains. A certain criminal who had received a death-sentence was given the alternative of attacking this frightful creature, his life to be spared should he succeed in destroying her.
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.
The Grade II listed Church of St David in Llanfaes dates from 1923-25. This church replaced an earlier one built in 1859. It has been suggested that this Victorian St David’s that was constructed by J Clayton, was built beside the remains of an earlier medieval church. The church at Llanfaes has been recorded as early as 1291 in the ‘Ecclesia de Lanmays’.
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.