The Lady of the Lake at Llyn Y Fan Fach

In this Welsh year of the Legends we thought we'd run a feature on one of the most infamous legends of Mid Wales and the Brecon Beacons; The Lady of the Lake at Llyn Y Fan Fach.

Most have heard of the lady of the lake who gave the sword Excalibur to King Arthur but other water spirits, or morgans as they are known inhabit the watery lakes of Wales....

A widow with an only son lived in a smallholding near Llanddeusant by the River Sawdde, She sent him to graze their handful of cattle on the Black Mountain by a lake called Llyn y Fan Fach. One day he beheld a Lady at the centre of the lake combing her hair by the reflection in its mirror surface. He tried to approach her but she dived below saying she would not eat his hard bread. Upon telling his mother, she gave him some unbaked soft dough and returning he was refused again by the lady. A third time he took half baked bread and this time the Lady accepted, summoning a herd of cattle from the depths which walked on the surface of the lake to the shore.

Llyn Y Fan Fach lake as it is today

Llyn Y Fan Fach lake as it is today

They were married on condition that if he should strike her three times she would return to the lake. For some years they lived happily on a farm not far from Myddfai and had three sons. Eventually the farmer did break the conditions of their marriage pact and the Lady dived back down in to the lake taking cattle with her. Years later she appeared to the eldest son, Rhiwallon and give him a bag of medical recipes and instructions saying that he and his family had a calling to heal the sick. So were born the Physicians of Myddfai, fame since medieval times as gifted healers.

This extract was taken from Legends of the Brecon Beacons Colouring book that can be purchased here:

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Andrew Williams