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


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
Edited 5th October 2006ce

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