The Escape

Lady Winifred travelled to London to free her husband, the Earl of Nithsdale, imprisoned in the Tower of London. Winifred and her maids visited the Earl. Her plan was to sneak him out in women’s clothes, to the Earl’s embarrassment. When a petition of pardon failed to release the Earl, the plan went ahead. Winifred dressed the Earl as a maid. Winifred and her ‘maids’ walked out of the Tower unchallenged. She and the Earl went to live in exile in Rome, but the maid, Grace Evans, was given a cottage in Welshpool.

Y Ddihangfa

Roedd gŵr yr Iarlles Nithsdale, yr Iarll, wedi’i garcharu yn Nhŵr Llundain ond roedd hi’n benderfynol i’w ryddhau. Ar ôl taith beryglus o’r Alban i Lundain, perswadiodd yr Iarlles ei gŵr i wisgo fel morwyn a dianc gyda hi o’r tŵr. Nid oedd e’n hapus gyda’r syniad gan nad oedd e am wisgo dillad merched, ond ar ôl iddo beidio derbyn maddeuant gan y brenin, penderfynodd i fynd amdano. Roedd angen gweithio dros wythnosau i ennill ffydd y milwyr a oedd yn gwarchod yr Iarll, ond yn y diwedd llwyddodd yr Iarlles gyda chymorth ei morwyn ffyddlon, Grace Evans, i dorri’r Iarll o’i garchar a’i fynd i ddiogelwch.

No-one attempted a video telling of this story during our project. The story is an historical tale. If you fancy telling it search for information on William Maxwell, 5th Earl of Nithsdale. William was a Scottish Catholic nobleman, his connection to Powis Castle and Montgomeryshire was his wife Lady Winifred Herbert the daughter of the Earl of Powis. Lady Winifred’s maid, Grace Evans (who loaned her clothes to save William from execution) was Welshpool born and bred.

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.

The West front of Powis Castle would have been the main entrance in 1716. Photo 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