The monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Cwmhir are said
to have stocked Llyn Gwyn with carp, as a secret food supply,
before Henry III destroyed the abbey in revenge for their
support of the Welsh prince Llewelyn in 1231.
The abbey is the site of the burial ground of Llewelyn
ap Grufydd, the last native prince of Wales, in 1282.
Some also claim that Llyn Gwyn was the home of King
Bademagus, the Lame King and father of Melwas in Arthurian
the remains of an earthern Roman fort are prominent on Llyn
Gwyn’s northern bank, and Roman myth speaks of Vulcan as
a lame god who was united with Maia, the mother of springs.
Most significantly, Llyn Gwyn was traditionally believed
to be the home of Gwyn, son of Mudd of the underworld, the
king of the tylwyth teg (fairies). The secluded lake was Gwyn’s favorite haunt,
and he and his court often danced in a circle on its shores.
the first demon dissolves into a pool of salt water
and two others approach, Pengrych hastens to carry
the girl to safety.
in fairies and various other nonhuman beings was commonplace
in Radnor until the late nineteenth century, when there
was a significant movement among all Welsh people away from
the backward or foolish “superstitions” of traditional beliefs
and myths. The Welsh were not masters in their own land; the English were the
major land and business owners. With the spread of Methodism and the enroachment of
the industrial age, stories, communal games, national customs,
habits, lore, and legends were either discarded as unworthy
of an educated and enlightened people or confined to the
eistedfodds (Welsh cultureal festivals). Fortunately, in Radnor, the most rural of counties,
folklore had a chronicler, the Reverend R. Francis Kilvert,
an English clergyman assigned to the village parish of Clyro,
and an active historical group, the Radnor Society, to preserve
the county’s remarkable heritage.
Radnorshire’s supernatural world was occupied by various
beings. Common folk
knew of bwciod, a comprehensive term for a variety
of spirits, imps, little devils, familiars, and apparitions.
Most dreaded Gwarch-y-Rhibyn, an enormous and frightful
female wraith that appeared before death, tragedy, or misfortune.