Once there was a gentlemanly little boy called Red Cap Jack who was the heir to the Penthryn family. He got his name from the red cap he wore on the way to his school, Deutheur Grammar. Everyone loved him, except those who wanted his inheritance for themselves. They hired two men who attacked Jack on his way to school, killing him. His soul began to haunt Rhysnant mansion, his former home. Conjurers were called to seal the mischievous ghost in a bottle, throwing it into a deep well in the grounds, where it rests to this day.
Jac Bach Cap Coch
Roedd Jac Bach yn fab ac etifedd y teulu Penrhyn, a oedd yn bwysig, cyfoethog ac yn berchen tŷ mawr: Rhysnant. Cafodd ei ddysgu i fod yn feistr da yn y dyfodol: pob dydd, roedd Jac yn marchogaeth ar gefn ei geffyl bach i’r ysgol ramadeg gyda cap coch ar ei ben. Ond roedd rhywun yn genfigennus o Jac ac un diwrnod cafodd ei ddal a’i ladd gan ddynion drwg. Daeth ei ysbryd yn ôl i Rysnant i gysuro’i rieni torcalonnus. Ond dechreuodd e ofni’r bobl lleol a felly ceisiwyd nifer o weithiau i gael gwared arno, yn y diwedd drwy ddal ei ysbryd mewn potel a’i ollwng i waelod y ffynnon.
No-one attempted a video telling of this story during our project. The story claims historical roots, however very little information on Little Jack is to be found on-line, and if you search for Old Rhysnant Hall you are likely to learn more about the origins of Lawn Tennis than the ghost in the red cap.
More about the Montgomeryshire Folktales project
In 1947 the Montgomeryshire History Teachers Committee commissioned a book ‘The Enchanted Wood and Other Stories’ of site-specific tales passed down through Montgomeryshire communities for generations, rewritten as a local history resource for schools.
During 2019/20 Mythstories was funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales to turn the 1947 book into an on-line resource.
Mythstories commissioned storyteller Amy Douglas and visual artist Helen Kozich to work with young people in Newtown, Powys and help them re-interpret the tales for their peers. Videos of the young people telling the stories in many different ways are among the Montgomeryshire folktales on this website.
Storyteller Tamar Williams ran two day-long stagecraft workshops for young people at Theatr Hafren, Newtown.
Artists Ed Fisher and Imogen Phillips were commissioned to produce black-and-white illustrations of each location, for a series of postcards and use on this website.
Ashley Thomas edited the videos of the storytellings.
Many volunteers helped:
Members of Bangor University Storytelling Soc. produced the English précis of the stories for the postcard series
Fiona Collins, Alison Layland and Tamar Williams produced the Welsh précis of the stories for the postcard series.
Members of Llangollen’s Caffi Stori visited each of the sites, took photos and reported back to the artists on the locations.
And organisations leant their support:
Newtown Library and Newtown High School hosted a Newtown Young Storytellers Club and Penygloddfa Primary School, Caersws Primary School and Abermule Primary School hosted “Story in a Day” workshops.
Theatr Hafren hosted the stagecraft workshops and the final celebratory event
Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council funded storytelling performances to school children in Newtown to help promote the project.
Thank You All!
The full teachers resource is at https://mythstories.com/stories/montgomeryshire-folktales/