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Maen Ceti (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

A species of divination is still practised at Arthurstone, by the neighbouring rustic maidens, who have little idea that they are perpetuating (perverted indeed in its object,) the rites of Druidism and the mysteries of Eleusis in their propitiatory offering. At midnight of the full moon, if a maiden deposit in the sacred well beneath, a cake of milk, honey, and barley meal, and then on hands and knees crawl three times round the cromlech, she will see, if "fancy free," the vision of her future lord; if her affections are engaged, the form of the favoured youth will stand before her, fearfully bound to answer truly her questions as to his sincerity.
. An early version of the folklore mentioned below. It's got to be worth a try.

p186 in
Tales of the Cymry: with notes illustrative and explanatory
By James Motley
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th November 2006ce

Ysgyryd Fawr (Hillfort)

The Skyrrid, or Holy Mountain, is so called because it was divided at the Crucifixion. One part of it is in America. There has been no snail upon it ever since, or worm either: that is because it is sacred; they cannot go there. (Collected at Bromyard, 1909)
Any religion that refuses entry to worms and snails is of no use to me. From p110 in
Welsh Folklore Items, I
E. J. Dunnill; Ella M. Leather
Folklore, Vol. 24, No. 1. (Mar., 1913), pp. 106-110.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th November 2006ce

Pendinas Hillfort

The Wheel of Fire. -- (Informant, W.). Near the bottom of Bridge St., Aberystwyth, stands a very old house, which was tenanted 150 years ago by a butcher and his son, who sometimes let rooms. Among their guests was a pedlar and Bible colporteur, who was reputed to carry his money with him. This man disappeared and his pack was afterwards found in the river. Suspicion attached to the butcher and his son, but nothing could be proved, nor could the pedlar be found, dead or alive.

One night, however, a wheel of fire was seen to appear at the top of Pendinas*, where the Waterloo monument now stands; it rolled down hill and paused by a large tree about half-way down. This was taken as a sign from heaven; digging operations were conducted near the tree, and the body of the pedlar was found; the butcher and his son were convicted and hanged.

*A steep, conical hill just outside Aberystwyth, to the south. It is crowned with an ancient earthwork, not yet properly explored. The hill, especially the earthwork, is reputed to be haunted by the Tylwyth Teg or fairies.
p 162 in
Scraps of Welsh Folklore, I. Cardiganshire; Pembrokeshire
L. Winstanley; H. J. Rose
Folklore, Vol. 37, No. 2. (Jun. 30, 1926), pp. 154-174.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th November 2006ce

Beddyrafanc (Burial Chamber)

Bedd yr Afanc, 'the Afanc's Grave, [is] the name of some sort of a tumulus, I am told, on a knoll near the Pembrokeshire stream of the Nevern.

Mr. J. Thomas, of Bancau Bryn Berian close by, has communicated to me certain echoes of a story how an afanc was caught in a pool near the bridge of Bryn Berian, and how it was taken up to be interred in what is now regarded as its grave.

A complete list of the afanc place-names in the Principality might possibly prove instructive. As to the word afanc, what seems to have happened is this: (1) from meaning simply a dwarf it came to be associated with water dwarfs; (2) the meaning being forgotten, the word was applied to any water monster; and (3) where afanc occurs in place-names the Hu story has been introduced to explain it, whether it fitted or not. This I should fancy to be the case with the Bryn Berian barrow, and it would be satisfactory to know whether it contains the remains of an ordinary dwarf.

Peredur's lake afanc may have been a dwarf; but whether that was so or not, it is remarkable that the weapon which the afanc handled was a ffechwaew or flake-spear, that is, a missile tipped with stone.
Aw just give over, let it be a water monster, that's much more interesting. The grave is long and the monster is long.

From Rhys's 1901 'Celtic Folklore Welsh and Manx', online at the Sacred Texts Archive

also see this page for more details (about the Peredur story, for instance):
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th November 2006ce
Edited 14th March 2010ce

Tredegar Fort (Hillfort)

The poet Gwilym Tew.. presided at a Gorsedd in Glamorgan in 1460, about which time he wrote a complimentary poem in praise of Sir John Morgan of Tredegar, Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, whom in the title he styles Syr Sion ap Morgan o Dre-Degyr, and again in the poem itself he writes the name Tre-Degyr [..] the capital D indicating a proper name. In a MS. of the seventeenth century, in the possession of Mr S.R. Bosanquet, is this statement, "The house of Tref-ddigr, holden by inheritance of blood from time to time, is the most ancient in all Wales." "Teigr ap Tegonwy was an ancient prince in King Arthur's time" [..] though Teigr may be as mythical a personage as King Arthur, this is strong presumptive evidence that there was such a traditionary personage connected with this place...
Octavius Morgan, The Friars, Newport, Mon.
Notes and Queries, Volume s6-IV, Number 96, 1881
Octavius, like me, tries to squeeze a bit of folklore out of the Tre (or homestead) of Teigr.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd November 2006ce

Nash Point (Cliff Fort)

"There is an ancient Cromlech, called The Old Church; and which, according to tradition, was anciently the place of Worship belonging to the Village.."

From: A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle, 1811.

The OS map shows 'Cae'r Eglwys', and this webpage on Glamorgan Walks
says that the remains of this 'cromlech' are actually of a long cairn, and can be seen in the Nash Point car park. Coflein complicates things by saying that the cairn could be associated with an old church that's since dropped into the sea. Ooh it's all very confused.

The promontory fort itself is called Nash Point, and the earthworks follow the cwm of Marcross/Marcroes brook back inland.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th October 2006ce

Mein Hirion (Standing Stones)

Local folklore or Victorian gentlemen's theory? Ten feet high is a bit of an exaggeration. And there's a burial chamber just across the fields? Not that that looks much like a cromlech any more. Who knows.

"To the west of the church, and about a mile distant from it, are three upright stones, ten feet in height, disposed in the form of a triangle, twelve feet distant from each other, and supposed to be the remaining supporters of an ancient cromlech, which must, from the elevation of the stones, have been one of the loftiest monuments of that kind in the island ; the table stone, if ever there was one, has disappeared ; but the farm on which the upright stones are found still retains the name of the "Cromlech." "

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales
Samuel Lewis, 1833
online at Genuki
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th October 2006ce

Mynydd Bychan (Enclosure)

Mynydd Bychan is a little Iron Age (and Roman) settlement. It's right next to Pwllywrach, which is mentioned in the following story from Marie Trevelyan:
In a story formerly attached to Pwllywrach, Glamorgan, it is asserted that one of the huntsmen was approaching the kennels one evening, when he heard the wild barking of dogs in the air immediately above his head. It was twilight, and no animals were at hand. The hounds in the kennels were silent. Presently the unseen dogs barked again, and somebody called out "Tally-ho-ho!" It was more like a wail than a cry. When the sound was repeated the huntsman responded with a wailing "Tally-ho-ho-ho!" The next moment all the pack of hounds in the kennels broke loose, surrounded the huntsman, and tore him to pieces, so that nothing but bones remained. People said it was the revenge of the Cwn Wybyr, whose cry the unfortunate man had imitated. In after-years the peasantry declared that often in the night-time the cries of the huntsman and the baying of hounds could be heard distinctly. It was stated that the huntsman had forgotten to feed the hounds, and they fell upon him and killed him. The kennels were pulled down because of this calamity. The spot is still called "the old kennels." [J. R.]
From 'Folk-lore and Folk-stories from Wales' (1909).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th October 2006ce

Beddyrafanc (Burial Chamber)

I always imagined the Afanc as a bit like a watery dragon. But it seems he could talk and wield a spade:
A North Pembrokeshire legend says that in ancient days the Afanc, dwelling on the Precelly slopes somewhere above Brynberian, ravaged the countryside, committing such depredations on the live-stock of the population that a consultation of the wisest folk was held to devise some means of getting rid of him. They decided to slay him by a trick. A deputation was sent to him to ask him to dig a well for the people. This he agreed to do, and forthwith began working furiously. When he had dug to a great depth ("over one hundred yards" said one relater) the people above tipped into the hole he had made a big load of "white stones" {? Alabaster} which they had collected on the mountain-sides, intending to crush him to death. But next morning they found him still digging, and were informed by him that there had been a rather heavy snowstorm on the previous day. Thus they were unable to do away with him; and he continued as before, eventually "dying a natural death", after which "he was buried on the hill side" between Hafod and Brynberian, "and his tomb {a cairn of stones} may be seen to this day". In June, 1928 Charles Oldham and I visited this stone circle which is close to the village of Brynberian, well out on the moor.
This story was collected by T.R.Davis (now Schoolmaster of Newport School) and included by him in original Welsh in his prize essay on N. Pembrokeshire Folklore (MS. Maenchlochog, 1906). He heard it from shepherds and cotters in the Precelly district.
Notes on Pembrokeshire Folk-Lore, Superstitions, Dialect Words, etc
Bertram Lloyd
Folklore, Vol. 56, No. 3. (Sep., 1945), pp. 307-320.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
5th October 2006ce

The Four Stones (Stone Circle)

Four Stones, Old Radnor.-- There was a great battle fought here, and four kings were killed. The Four Stones were set up over their graves. (Kington Workhouse, 1908.)
Welsh Folklore Items, I
Ella M. Leather
Folklore, Vol. 24, No. 1. (Mar., 1913), pp. 106-110.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd October 2006ce
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