Celtic Myth Show News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Category: Welsh History

Helpers needed for Castell Henllys Iron Age village

Castell Henllys Iron Age Village will be opening its doors on Saturday (March 11) in a bid to form a new volunteer group that will help care for the unique heritage site reports the Milford Mercury.

An open afternoon will begin at 2pm to welcome those who are interested in volunteering some of their time and expertise to support the prehistoric site, which is owned and run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Taking part in events at Castell Henllys

Castell Henllys Manager, Jenn Jones said:

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Welsh Traditions and Folklore

Welsh Costume - Welsh Traditions

Welsh Traditional Costume

Wales is a country steeped in tradition. Even the Methodist revival in the 18th century, whose stern Puritanism banished the ancient Celtic traditions, was unable to stamp out all remains of their traditions.

Today the old tales are kept alive by the Welsh speakers. There are an estimated 600,000 of them and the numbers are increasing. Traditional Welsh culture has been kept alive by the popularity of the Royal National Eisteddfod, a ceremonial gathering of musicians, poets and craftsmen.

In the late 19th century children were not encouraged to speak Welsh in school. If they did so, they were punished by having a piece of wood called a ‘Welsh Not’ hung around their neck.

Love Spoons – historic Welsh Tradition

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Salt and Bread

The Sin-Eater: Saviour Of The Dammed

Sin Eater - The Sin-Eater: Saviour Of The Dammed

Sin-Eater

The Tradition Of The Sin-Eater

In 18th, 19th and 20th Century Scotland, England, and some Welsh communities, families placed a piece of bread on the breasts of their recently passed loved ones.

That’s not the strange part — the families then hired someone to eat the bread, believing that the practice would somehow absolve the sins of the deceased.

Where did this strange ritual come from? 

Eating food at a funeral (or shortly thereafter) is not uncommon — large family dinners often follow the death of a loved one, while drinking has been a cornerstone of wakes for centuries.

Wake - The Sin-Eater: Saviour Of The Dammed

 Funeral Wake

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Cantre'r Gwaelod - the Sunken Land or Lowland Hundred

4,000 year-old Deer antlers found off Welsh coast

A dear friend of ours pointed us to a discovery made during the Spring this year of a set of 4,000 year-old Red Deer antlers on a beach in Borth, Ceredigion in Wales. Recent storms have revealed a whole new section of the Sunken Lands in Cardigan Bay. From 5,000 year-old trees whose stumps have been preserved by the peat, to parts of a wattle walkway made of branches, sticks or logs that must have enabled people to cross the wet ground easily. Now a huge set of antlers, identified as belonging to a Red Deer, have been found found under 1 metre of water.

There’s an ancient folk tale about Cantre’r Gwaelod, or the Sunken Hundred, which was once a fertile land and township before it was lost beneath waves. It is believed that the land extended nearly 20 miles west of Cardigan Bay, but Cantre’r Gwaelod was lost to floods when, apparently, Mererid, the priestess of a fairy well had neglected her duties, resulting in the well overflowing.

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Witch Bottle

The Welsh Witch of Medieval History

The History books tell us that the Welsh Witch was misunderstood and misrepresented commonly in the middle ages.

“The term witch has meant many things to many people over the years,” says Dr Kathleen Olsen of the University of Wales, Bangor.

“But for most of the Middle Ages the word really meant the local healer, someone who made poultices and medicines and perhaps had charms or spells for healing cattle and other farm animals.”

Be that as it may, the powers of darkness certainly had an appeal to some people.

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Green Fairy Islands of Wales


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Green faeries Islands from the Green Fairy Islands of Wales article

Faerie Island

A form of Welsh popular belief as to the whereabouts of fairy-land corresponds with the Avalon of the Arthurian legends. The green meadows of the sea, called in the triads Gwerddonau Lion, are the Green fairy islands of Wales.

Many extraordinary superstitions survive with regard to these islands. They were supposed to be the abode of the souls of certain Druids, who, not holy enough to enter the heaven of the Christians, were still not wicked enough to be condemned to the tortures of Annwn, and so were accorded a place in this romantic sort of purgatorial paradise. In the fifth century a voyage was made, by the British king Gavran, in search of these enchanted islands; with his family he sailed away into the unknown waters, and was never heard of more.

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A Roman brooch found at Llangefni - from the 1,500-year-old Ancient Cemetery found on Anglesey article

1,500-year-old Ancient Cemetery found on Anglesey


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Archaeologists digging on the site of a new road in Anglesey have unearthed an ancient cemetery and a 1,500-year-old “time capsule” reported the BBC Wales News. Some 48 early medieval graves have been discovered on the Llangefni link road site.

The “cist” graves each hold several bodies, alongside jewellery and French pottery. Iwan Parry, of Archaeoleg Brython Archaeology, said:

This is a fantastic find of national importance. A cemetery like this, where there is such good preservation, is like finding a time capsule left by a community almost 1,500 years ago.

The manner of how the remains have been preserved is amazing.

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PRINCESS GWENLLIAN The Last Warrior Princess

PRINCESS GWENLLIAN The Last Warrior Princess


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The Main Battlefield Location

Maes Gwenllian (Gwenllian’s Field) is located a mile north of the town of Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire.

It’s the site of an ancient battlefield which changed the course of local history in South West Wales.

The name of the field commemorates the bravery of Princess Gwenllian, the wife of Prince Gruffudd ap Rhys.

Welsh Kingdom of Deheubarth

During the early part of it’s history Wales was divided into individual kingdoms, each ruled by a Prince. In 1136, the rulers of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth were Prince Gruffudd and his wife Princess Gwenllian.

Deheubarth was one of the strongest kingdoms in Wales. Its territories included Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Cardigan, Gower and the western parts of Swansea. The royal court of the kingdom was based at Dinefwr, near Llandeilo.

Norman Invasion

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Review of New Law to protect Historic Environment in Wales


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A new law to protect historic monuments and buildings in Wales was passed by the National Assembly for Wales on 1st May 2015.

The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill gives local authorities powers to make owners carry out repairs if they damage monuments.

Battlefields, prehistoric settlements and place names will also be recorded.

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