The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Castell Treruffydd



Well TSC, there is some I have found for you :)
Mr John Griffith wrote as follows:
"It is well known at Moylgrove that for ages the cauldron has been the show-place of the parish. Visitors are even now attracted to the place; but, in times past, I have learnt from the natives that, besides the cauldron itself, there were at least two still more powerful attractions on the spot - a well and a witch. Then, be it remembered, that right opposite the creek is a 'castle,' which Fenton compares with Tintagel. The only cottage on the headland where the 'castle' is situate is called Pen y Castell. Athwart the slope of Pen y Castell is a finely-constructed bridle-path, which leads to the castle. It is from near this bridle-path that the best view of the cauldron can be obtained.

"... The Rev. Llewelyn Griffiths, Dinas [...] knew the cauldron well. When I mentioned Ffynnon Halen, he corrected me and said its name is Fynnon Alem. When he was a lad at Moylgrove, he learned of it, as a thing which had happened just then - that somebody saw a mermaid at Pwll y Wrach, with long hair, waving an arm out of the water.

"... The Rev. J.T. Evans and I made another 'find'. We found a regularly-constructed path leading into one side of the cauldron. It is narrow, yet wide enough for a person to walk with both feet down together, if you can fancy a man walking so. Nervous people had better avoid it though. The path leads into a cave of considerable size and length. Somebody once must have made much use of the cave. The making of a path on the sheer side of the cauldron was ticklish work.

"Now, Mr Davies [the village blacksmith] told me that the people there still talk of a witch inhabiting the cave, and of people who used to visit Pwll y Wrach to consult the Wrach. I judged, from what i heard, that such a witch might have been haunting the place, say, within the last century. At any rate, Mr Davies and his neighbours do not draw on our [ie Welsh] mythology for an explanation of Pwll y Wrach. They regard the name as associated with a common witch."
This is from an article in Archaeologia Cambrensis from 1860, in which A.W. Wade-Evans is determined to connect mythological places with real places in Wales. He's a man after my own heart of course. Although one has to know when to give up, and maybe in this case he stretches a bit far. Mythological places don't have to exactly coincide with real places, isn't that their charm? He wants to suggest that a stolen cauldron (a proper iron article) mentioned in the Llyfr Coch o Hergest "is", in a mythological sort of way, represented by the Pwll y Wrach, as the book says "there is the measure of the cauldron". Or something. It's a bit tenuous.

I think his only connection to the word cauldron is his rather anecdotal I very distinctly remember a lady living close by, and who had lived there from childhood, telling me she had always known [Pwll y Wrach] in English as "The Witch's Cauldron." The inhabitants say it is a marvel to see in stormy weather, for in such a time it seethes like a boiling pot.

But regardless of the likelihood of his arguments, this sounds like a pretty marvellous natural place, connected with witches and holy wells and mermaids and castles from the mists of time, and what more do you want really.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th November 2014ce
Edited 17th November 2014ce

Comments (3)

Oh, aren't you brilliant? :) thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th November 2014ce
It's the marvel of the internet really :) Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th November 2014ce
Ssh, don't spoil the magic. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th November 2014ce
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