The Faeries of Rhiw


Rhian Evans

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.

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"Mary Hughes"

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 food.

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 in red.

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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