The Faeries of Rhiw
When I was a child (about four or five) and living at Conion, my grandmother ( Mary Hughes) would tell me a lot of stories and amongst them would be The Fairy Tales. Rhiw was alive with fairies according to her.
On the mountain behind Conion, there was a large rock
that we could sit under to play and have picnics, it’s such a beautiful place
looking down towards Porth Neigwl – a superb view. At the base of the rock
there was a crack where water trickled down lightly over the smooth surface of
the rock to the grass below. If you put your ear close to the rock you could
hear a knocking sound, granny used to say it was the sound of the fairy cobblers
tiny hammers and that they were busy making shoes. They also made jewellery,
according to granny, out of the teeth of the little children of the area (When
we lost a tooth we’d place it under the pillow at night and by the morning the
fairies had left a shiny silver sixpence and taken the tooth away!!)
Granny told me that the fairies would come and fetch
butter and milk from her, she would leave some on the doorstep at night and by
the morning it was gone. The fairies would give granny clogs in exchange for the
In Parc Meillionydd, wetland, near to Conion there was a Fairy Ring. Granny took me there to see it. It was a circle of fertile green grass much greener than that surrounding it. It was about two yards across and surrounded by what looked like a boundary of ‘Lady smock’ (pink flowers). There the Fairies would dance in the silvery light of the moon.
Such was my imagination that I believe I saw one of
the fairies on the mountainside once. I used to play on the mountain all the
time and this particular day I was about to set off for home when I noticed
something red in the corner of my eye, I turned around and there in the bracken
I saw a tiny little man about a foot high wearing a scarlet red suit and shiny
black boots. He looked straight at me for a second before he turned away and
disappeared into the bracken. I never ran so fast in my life, I felt so excited,
I wasn’t at all frightened, and I’ve never forgotten the little man dressed
Wendy ( Min y don) and I would often play on the rocks at the back of her home. That’s where the Fairy Table is, a large flat rock on which we’d dance and play. Sometimes I still go and have picnics there, it’s such a special place.
Thanks to Mrs Rhian Evans for sharing
her grandmother’s tales with us.
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