The Enchanted Wood

In the enchanted forest of the little people down by Mathafarn, near Machynlleth, two woodsmen worked cutting down trees. The old witch tree in the forest gazed down on them moodily as the forest grew dark. They decided to leave, but not before resting. Once awake, one woodsman found himself alone, and could not find his friend. A year to the day later he saw him dancing with the little people in the spot where they had fallen asleep. He rescued his friend and brought him home. By morning his friend had vanished, leaving just the sound of rustling leaves.

Y Goedwig Hud

Amser maith yn ôl roedd coedwig hud ar fferm Mathafarn. Yn nghanol y goedwig roedd ywen, yr oedd pawb yn ei galw ‘yr hen wrach’. Un tro, aeth ddau was fferm i’r goedwig i dorri pren. O dan swyn yr ywen, cysgodd y ddau. Pan deffrodd Harri, welodd o ddim smic o’i ffrind Ianto yn unlle. Aeth adre hebddo fo. Llawn pryder, gofynodd Harri am help oddi wrth ddyn hysbys. Yn dilyn cyngor y dyn hybsys, aeth Harri yn ôl i’r ywen, flwyddyn yn union i’r diwrnod pan ddiflanodd Ianto. Gwelodd y tylwyth teg yn dawnsio, ac Ianto gyda nhw! Achubodd Harri ei ffrind ac aethon nhw yn ôl i Fathafarn. Ond y bore wedyn, roedd Ianto wedi diflannu eto, ac y tro’ma, welodd neb Ianto byth eto.

And now here is a version of the tale told in Welsh by experienced young storyteller Ffion Phillips.

And below is a group telling predominately in English told by year 5/6 pupils at Penygloddfa Primary School at the end of a “Story in a Day” workshop with storyteller Amy Douglas.

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.

a photograph of Mathafarn farm buildings taken in 2019

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