Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Two Tales from Llanmadoc

Llanmadoc is a small village on the North West of the Gower and, though beautiful, is probably one of it's less visited spots. Infact, despite living not far from there it's not somewhere i'd visited until i discovered it had not one, but two, tales of the Verry Volk to tempt me. Knowing that - how could I resist? 

Our first story is set at Lagadranta Farm. This is the story of the Faerie Ale.

Many years ago an old woman knocked on the door of  Lagadranta Farm and asked to borrow a sieve so that she might go panning for gold in the sands. At first the farmers wife said that she didn't have a sieve but the strange visitor reminded her of one that she used for straining hops. Of course the farmers wife then realised that, for her visitor to know how the sieve had been used, she must be one of the Verry Volk and gladly gave her what she had asked for.

Several days later the elderly fae returned with the sieve and, by way of a thank you, promised the farmers wife that her cask of ale would never be empty as long as she didn't reveal it's faerie origins. This was agreed and the farm enjoyed many years of merriment until finally the farmer asked about the ale. Without thinking the farmers wife let slip the truth, the spell was broken, and their cask gave it's last drop. Their years of plenty were over.

Lagadranta Farm is now a campsite and can be found at the end of the road to the left of Llanmadoc Church.

Our second story is set at Cwm Ivy. This is the tale of the Faerie Ring. 

A man had gone out walking from Llanmadoc one day when he saw the Verry Volk, dressed in green and red, dancing at the base of Cwm Ivy Tor. Enchanted by the music he immediately joined in with their dancing.  You may know that faeries are usually happy to have people join them, but on this occasion it wasn't appreciated and one of the fae stabbed the Welshman in the foot with a fork. The man limped back to Llanmadoc where he sought the help of a local wisewoman. 

Well it seems this woman knew a thing or two about faeries and she advised her visitor to return to the spot at the bottom of the tor where he had danced. Once there, following the wisewomans instructions, he put his injured foot back inside the faerie ring, and on doing so he was cured of his pain.

Cwm Ivy is down the road to the right of the church. It is worth walking through the woods to the tor itself as this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a haven for wildflowers. Be careful where you tread.