Forest of Dean and Wye Valley | Myths & Legends of the Wye Valley
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Myths and Legends of the Wye Valley

Explore the myths and legends of the Wye Valley from the many encounters of the Devil to mischievous creatures known as Pwcas.

Mythau a Chwedlau Dyffryn Gwy

Ymchwilio creaduriaid mytholegol a chwedlau Dyffryn Gwy o gyfarfodydd lu gyda’r Diafol i greaduriaid drygionus a elwid yn Pwca.

The Devil’s Pulpit

The Devil’s Pulpit is a rocky viewpoint which overlooks the 13th Century Tintern Abbey. Local myth states that the Devil created the Pulpit to preach to the Monks of Tintern, in the hopes that he could tempt them away from their religious ways. Other myths say that he also suggested to the Monks that he perform a vulgar sermon from the roof of the Abbey. The Monks agreed, but they were too clever for the Devil; as when he reached the top of the Abbey they showered him with Holy Water forcing him to flee.

Pulpud y Diafol

Mae Pulpud y Diafol yn graig sy’n edrych dros Abaty Tyndyrn a godwyd yn y 13eg ganrif. Y myth lleol yw i’r Diawl greu’r Pulpud i bregethu i Fynachod Tyndyrn, gan obeithio y gallai eu hudo o’u ffyrdd crefyddol. Dywed mythau eraill i’r Diafol hefyd awgrymu i’r Mynachod y dylai roi pregeth ddi-chwaeth o do’r Abaty. Cytunodd y Mynachod, ond roeddent yn rhy graff i’r Diafol; pan gyrhaeddodd gopa’r Abaty fe wnaethant dywallt Dŵr Sanctaidd drosto a’i orfodi i ffoi.

The Mordiford Dragon

The Dragon of Mordiford was said to have resided just outside of the Herefordshire village of Mordiford, at the confluence of the River Wye and the River Lugg. The legend says that the dragon was green in colour and was looked after by a small girl named Maud. Young Maud, desperately wanted a pet and looked after the Dragon in a hiding place in the Forest, feeding it milk and often playing games with it. The Dragon, however reached maturity quickly and was no longer satisfied with milk and desired meat. The Dragon began plaguing the local farms and killing their livestock.

The farmers tried to stop the beast by setting out to kill it, but it continued to destroy everything in its way; except for Maud. Exhausted of the constant attacks, the local people of Mordiford set out to destroy the Dragon once and for all and a man from the local Garstone family is said to have found the beast and killed it by stabbing it through the neck with his lance leaving Maud devastated.

 

Draig Mordiford

Dywedwyd fod Draig Mordiford wedi byw ar gyrion pentref Mordiford yn swydd Henffordd, lle mae’r Afon Gwy a’r Afon Lugg yn uno. Y chwedl yw fod y ddraig yn werdd a bod merch fach o’r enw Maud yn gofalu amdani. Roedd Maud ifanc bron â marw eisiau anifail anwes a bu’n gofalu am y Ddraig mewn cuddfan yn y goedwig, gan roi llaeth iddi a chwarae gemau gyda hi. Fodd bynnag, tyfodd y Ddraig yn gyflym ac nid oedd llaeth yn ddigon iddi wedyn ac roedd eisiau cig. Dechreuodd y Ddraig fod yn bla yn y ffermydd lleol gan ladd eu da byw.

Ceisiodd y ffermwyr atal y bwystfil drwy fynd ati i’w ladd, ond roedd yn parhau i ddinistrio popeth oedd yn ei ffordd heblaw am Maud. Wedi cael llond bol ar yr ymosodiadau cyson, aeth pobl Mordiford ati i ddinistrio’r Ddraig unwaith ac am byth a dywedir i ddyn o deulu lleol Garstone ddod o hyd i’r bwystfil a’i ladd drwy ei wddf gyda gwawffon gan dorri calon Maud.

The ghostly figures of Swan Pool

On the road to Newland, near Redbrook lies the ghostly Swan Pool. The apparition of a ghostly woman carrying her child is said to haunt the pool. The ghostly figure can be seen rising from the depths of the water and the sound of a baby’s cry rings in the air. There is also a ghostly dog that appears, it walks down from one of the old limekilns and circles the pool before disappearing back into the woods.

Bwganod Llyn yr Alarch

Mae Llyn yr Alarch ar y ffordd i Newland, ger Redbrook. Dywedir bod ysbryd menyw yn cario ei phlentyn yn y pwll. Gellir gweld yr ysbryd yn codi o’r dŵr dwfn ac mae sŵn baban yn wylo yn llenwi’r awyr yn ogystal â bwgan ci sy’n mynd o amgylch y llyn. Mae’n cerdded i lawr o un o’r hen odynnau calch ac yn mynd o amgylch y pwll cyn diflannu’n ôl i’r goedwig.

Fairy Transport

In old Welsh folklore, Corgis were the preferred method of transport for fairies!

Cludo Tywydd Teg

Yn hen chwedlau Cymru, corgwn oedd hoff ddull teithio tylwyth teg.

Mischievous Pwcas

In Monmouth, mischievous strange creatures known in Welsh mythology as Pwcas, used to offer help to local farmers in exchange for milk. If the Pwca wasn’t rewarded, they would cause mischief for the householder.

Pwca Drgionus

Yn Sir Fynwy, arferai creaduriaid rhyfedd direidus a elwid yn Pwca yn chwedloniaeth Cymru gynnig help i ffermwyr lleol yn ôl am laeth. Byddai’r Pwca yn achosi trafferthion i ffermwyr nad oedd yn eu gwobrwyo.

Penyard Castle

According to legend, a local farmer once discovered two iron doors beneath the ruins of Penyard Castle. The farmer collected a team of 20 oxen to tear the doors open. As a precaution the farmer created a whip of Rowan to protect against any evil and kept a splinter from a Yew Tree in his pocket as an additional safety precaution. After much force the doors opened to reveal two great big caskets of treasure with a Jackdaw perched above them. As the farmer was about to enter, the doors slammed shut and a voice bellowed out “Had it not been for your quicken-tree goad and your yew tree pin, you and your cattle had all been drawn in.” The farmer was terrified and fled the castle immediately. The legend is said to be a warning against allowing the tree spirits to protect you.

Castell Penyard

Y chwedl yw i ffermwr lleol unwaith ddarganfod dau ddrws haearn o dan olion Castell Penyard. Casglodd y ffermwyr dîm o 20 ychen i rwygo’r drysau ar agor a rhag ofn, creodd chwip o goed cerdinen i’w ddiogelu rhag unrhyw ysbryd drwg a chadwodd ysgyren o goeden ywen yn ei boced. Ar ôl llawer o ymdrech, agorodd y drysau i ddangos dwy gasged fawr o drysor gyda jac-y-do yn clwydo arnynt. Fel yr oedd y ffermwr ar fin mynd mewn, caeodd y drysau’n glep a gweiddodd llais “Onibai am dy chwip o goed cerdinen a’ch bin coeden ywen, byddet ti a’th wartheg i gyd wedi’ch tynnu mewn.”

King Arthur’s Cave

Legend says that a giant human skeleton was discovered in King Arthur’s Cave on the Doward in the 1700s. The cave is shrouded in local superstition and many bones of exotic and extinct animals have also been excavated from the site.

Ogof y Brenin Arthur

Dwed chwedl y darganfuwyd sgerbwd dynol enfawr yn ogof y Brenin Arthur ar y Doward yn y 1700au. Mae llawer o ofergoeliaeth leol am yr ogof a chafodd llawer o esgyrn anifeiliaid ecsotig a phrin eu canfod yno.

Jack O’Kent

Jack O’Kent is a well known folkloric character based in the Welsh Marches. Legend has it that Jack O’Kent was a wizard that regularly beat the Devil in bets and games. Often the Devil was cheated by Jack. Jack once asked the Devil to help him build a bridge promising him the first soul that crosses it, the Devil believed it would be Jack’s. Once the bridge was built, Jack threw a bone over it and a dog ran across; when the Devil was hoping to receive Jack’s soul instead! Jack is also said to have bet the Devil that Sugar Loaf Mountain was higher than the Malvern Hills and when the Devil was proved to be wrong, he tried putting more soil on top of the Malvern Hills to beat Jack. The standing stones in Trellech are also said to have been thrown into place by Jack O’Kent during a throwing competition between him and the Devil.

Jack O’Kent

Mae Jack O’Kent yn gymeriad cyfarwydd mewn chwedlau gwerin o’r Gororau. Y sôn yw fod Jack O’Kent yn ddewin oedd yn curo’r Diafol yn rheolaidd mewn betiau a gemau. Yn aml roedd Jack yn twyllo’r Diafol. Gofynnodd Jack i’r Diafol ei helpu i godi pont gan addo’r enaid cyntaf oedd yn ei chroesi iddo, credai’r Diafol mai Jack fyddai hynny. Unwaith y codwyd y bont, taflodd Jack asgwrn drosti a rhedodd ci dros y bont, pan oedd y Diafol yn gobeithio derbyn enaid Jack yn lle hynny! Credir i Jack fod wedi betio gyda’r Diafol fod Pen-y-fâl yn uwch na bryniau Malvern a phan brofwyd y Diafol yn anghywir, ceisiodd roi mwy o bridd ar ben Bryniau Malvern i drechu Jack. Dywedir hefyd i’r meini hirion yn Nhryleg gael eu taflu i’w lle gan Jack O’Kent yn ystod cystadleuaeth daflu rhyngddo â’r Diafol.

St Tewdric Springs

St Tewdric was mortally wounded during battle and wished to buried at sea. Everywhere he and his people stopped during the long journey, a spring of water appeared. St Tewdric died at Mathern, a small village near Monmouthshire before reaching the sea but was laid to rest as per his request, however there is a well in Mathern which has never dried out.

Ffynhonnau Tewdric Sant

Cafodd Tewdrig Sant ei glwyfo hyd angau mewn brwydr a dymunai gael ei gladdu yn y môr. Ymddangosai ffynnon ddŵr bobman yr oedd ef a’i bobl yn stopio yn ystod y daith hir. Bu farw Tewdric Sant yn Matharn, pentref bach yn Sir Fynwy, cyn cyrraedd y môr ond cafodd ei gladdu yn ôl ei ddymuniad. Fodd bynnag, mae ffynnon ym Matharn nad yw erioed wedi sychu.

The ghost of Isobel Chandos

Isobel Chandos was the daughter of the Governor of Hereford Castle and fell in love with King Edward II’s favourite, Hugh Despenser. Despenser told Isobel one evening that there was going to be a surprise attack on her town and she should leave with him. Before leaving with her love, she went to warn her town and the attack which was unfortunately led by Despenser was foiled. Despenser was captured and hanged for his planned attack and Isobel is said to have been destroyed after witnessing her true love’s execution. Isobel fled the area and sailed down the River Severn in the direction of Ross. She drowned when her boat capsized in rapid current. Her spirit is said to still sail along the River and often stops at a place where she and Hugh used to meet. This apparition is said to bring ill fortune to those who see it.

 

Ysbryd Isobel Chandos

Isobel Chandos oedd merch Llywodraethwr Castell Henffordd a syrthiodd mewn cariad gyda Hugh Despenser, oedd yn ffefryn i’r Brenin Edward II.  Dywedodd Despenser wrth Isabel un noswaith y byddai ymosodiad annisgwyl ar ei thref ac y dylai adael gydag ef. Cyn gadael gyda’i chariad, aeth i rybuddio ei thref a chafodd yr ymosodiad dan arweiniad Despenser ei rwystro. Cafodd Despenser ei ddal a’i grogi am yr ymosodiad arfaethedig a dywedodd i Isabel dorri ei chalon ar ôl gweld ei gwir gariad yn cael ei ladd. Fe wnaeth Isobel ffoi o’r ardal a hwylio lawr yr Hafren i gyfeiriad Ross. Bu foddi pan drodd y cwch drosodd mewn cerrynt cyflym. Dywedir fod ei hysbryd yn dal i hwylio ar hyd yr afon ac yn aml yn aros mewn man  dod ac anlwc i bawb sy’n ei weld.

The well that heals

The Virtuous Well in Trellech is also well known as St Anne’s Well. In the 18th and 19th centuries the water was considered to be beneficial to the treatments of eye ailments and women’s illnesses. It was also used as a wishing well for girls wanting to know when they would be married; the girls would drop a pebble into the well and every bubble that rose counted as one month until they would be wed. Fairies were also believed to dance at the well too!

Y ffynnon sy’n iachau

Caiff y Ffynnon Iachaol yn Nhryleg hefid ei hadnabod fel Ffynnon y Santes Anne. Yn y 18fed a’r 19eg ganrif ystyriwyd fod y dŵr yn llesol i drin anhwylderau llygaid a salwch menywod. Roedd hefyd yn cael ei defnyddio fel ffynnon ofyned ar gyfer merched oedd eisiau gwybod pryd fyddent yn priodi; byddai’r merched yn gollwng carreg fechan i’r ffynnon ac roedd pob swigen a godai yn cyfrif fel mis tan byddent yn priodi. Dywedir hefyd fod tylwyth teg yn arfer dawnsio ar y safle!

Harold’s Stones

Legend has it that three of Harold’s Chieftains died during battle in Trellech, hence the three stones standing tall. However these standing stones actually date back 3,500 years to the Bronze Age. The three stones are made up of a type of quartz conglomerate rock known as ‘Pudding Stone’ and were dragged to the site on logs then levered into position, either for seasonal information or for use at religious ceremonies.

 

Cerrig Harold

Y chwedl yw y bu tri o benaethiaid Harold farw yn ystod brwydr yn Nhryleg, felly y tri maen hir. Fodd bynnag, mae’r meini hirion mewn gwirionedd yma o’r Oes Efydd, 3,500 mlynedd yn ôl. Mae’r tair carreg yn cynnwys math o garreg wen a elwir yn ‘Carreg Pwdin’ a chawsant eu llusgo i’r safle ar foncyffion ac yna eu rhoi yn eu lle, un ai am wybodaeth dymhorol neu i’w defnyddio mewn seremonïau crefyddol.

Nantycelli Ghost

Nantycelli Farm at Wolvesnewton in the Wye Valley was haunted by a ghost who was held to ransom by the Devil. In life, the man had hidden a large sum of money and said that he would rather the Devil have it than his wife receive it should anything happen to him. After the man’s death the Devil kept the ghost from crossing over into the afterlife until he kept to his word. Desperate to cross over, the ghostly man managed to persuade a servant from a farm to retrieve the money from his secret hiding place and throw it into a stream so that the Devil could finally have it instead of his wife. The servant, true to his word, threw the money in to the stream and after this the ghost and the money disappeared.

Ysbryd Nantycelli

Roedd ysbryd yn Fferm Nantycellin yn Wolvesnewton yn Nyffryn Gwy a gafodd ei ddal yn wystl gan y Diafol. Pan oedd yn fyw roedd dyn wedi cuddio llawer o arian a dywedodd y byddai’n well ganddo i’r Diafol ei gael na’i wraig pe bai rhywbeth yn digwydd iddo. Ar ôl marwolaeth y dyn cadwodd y Diafol yr ysbryd rhag croesi i’r byd nesaf nes iddo gadw ei air. Llwyddodd y dyn i ddarbwyllo gwas fferm i gael yr arian o’i guddfan a’i daflu i nant fel y gallai’r Diafol ei gael yn lle ei wraig. Yn wir i’w air, taflodd y gwas yr arian i’r nant ac wedyn diflannodd yr ysbryd a’r arian.

Watery Lane

Watery Lane in Monmouth is said to be haunted. Not only by a ghostly horse & cart but by a man who was found in one of the deep pools along the road. Nobody knows if he jumped in willingly to end his own life or whether he was pushed.

Lôn Ddŵr

Dywedir fod ysbrydion ceffyl a chert ond hefyd ddyn a ganfuwyd yn un o’r llynnoedd dwfn ar y ffordd yn Lôn Ddŵr, Trefynwy. Nid oes neb yn gwybod os neidiodd i mewn yn fwriadol i’w ladd ei hun neu os y cafodd ei wthio.

The Otter Hole

The entrance to the Otter Hole was discovered by local electrician George Gardiner in 1970 whilst he was searching for Shakespeare’s last manuscripts which according to legend were buried beside the River Wye. The Otter Hole is one of the best decorated caves in Britain and is located on the Wales – England border.

 

Twll Dyfrgwn

Cafodd y fynedfa i’r Twll Dyfrgwn ei ddarganfod gan drydanwr lleol George Gardiner yn 1970 pan oedd yn chwilio am lawysgrifau olaf Shakespeare a oedd, yn ôl y chwedl, wedi’u claddu ger yr Afon Gwy. Mae’r Twll Dyfrgwn yn un o’r ogofau mwyaf addurnedig ym Mhrydain ac mae ar y ffin rhwng Cymru a Lloegr.

Edmund Ironside

A slave of Edmund Ironside, King of England, thought that if his master died, then Canute would be able to take over the throne and rule. The slave also thought that he would be greatly rewarded by Canute for giving him the opportunity to claim royalty. Edmund Ironside had a big house in Gloucestershire and this is where his life came to an end. The slave set out to murder Edmund Ironside and put a long, sharp spit into his latrine with the sharp point facing out! When Edmund had to use the toilet in the dark, the slave held the candle so that he couldn’t see and the King was horrifically wounded. Edmund ordered his staff to be taken to his settlement in Ross where he died in 1016 following his injuries. After this ordeal, the slave went to Canute to claim his reward but instead, Canute had him hanged from the highest oak for his actions.

Edmund Ironside

Credai caethwas i Edmund Ironside, Brenin Lloegr, pe byddai ei feistr yn marw y gallai Canute ei olynu a rheoli. Credai’r caethwas hefyd y byddai Canute yn rhoi gwobr hael iddo am roi cyfle iddo ddod yn frenin. Roedd gan Edmund Ironside dŷ mawr yn Swydd Caerloyw a dyma lle daeth ei fywyd i ben. Aeth y gwas ati i lofruddio Edmund drwy roi gwawyffon hir yn ei dŷ bach gyda’r ochr finiog ar i allan! Pan fu’n rhaid i Edmund ddefnyddio’r tŷ bach yn y tywyllwch, daliodd y gwas y gannwyll fel na fedrai weld a chafodd y Brenin anafiadau erchyll. Gorchmynodd Edward i’w staff fynd ag ef i’w gartref yn Ross lle bu farw yn 1016 yn dilyn ei anafiadau. Aeth y gwas at Canute i hawlio ei wobr ond lle gorchmynnodd Canute iddo gael ei grogi o’r dderwen uchaf am yr hyn a wnaeth.