The Magic Cauldron

The Goddess Ceridwen had three children, one was ugly. Worried for her ugly son, she prepared a potion to make him wise. Little Gwion from Llanfair Caereinion, a knight of King Arthur’s round table, stirred her cauldron for a whole year. Then 3 drops splashed onto his finger. He licked the finger and became magically wise. Ceridwen found the cauldron cracked and Gwion gone. She chased him in rage, transforming into animals. Ceridwen caught and ate Gwion, spat him out as a baby and flung him into the sea. Prince Elphin found him, named him Taliesin, and made him his advisor and poet.

Y Crochan Hud

Roedd duwies bwerus o’r enw Ceridwen ac arni hi tri phlentyn, dau ohonynt yn glyfar ac yn brydferth. Ond roedd ei mab Afagddu yn hyll a dwl. Penderfynodd Ceridwen i gasglu perlysiau a chreu swyn i’w droi yn ddyn doeth. Cymysgodd Gwion Bach, un o farchogion Arthur, y swyn am flwyddyn gyfan. Un diwrnod glaniodd diferyn o’r swyn ar ei fys a’i throi’n hud a doeth. Trawsnewidodd i fewn i ysgyfarnog i ddianc rhag Ceridwen a dilynodd hi fe ar helfa enfawr, y ddau’n troi i fewn i nifer o anifeiliaid gwahanol. Llwyddodd Ceridwen i’w fwyta ond goroesodd e fel babi. Taflodd hi’r babi i’r môr mawr i gael ei ddarganfod gan Dywysog Elffin a’i ail-enwi’n Taliesin, bardd doeth iawn.

And below is a creative take on the story told in English by young people at Newtown Young Storytellers Club during a meeting at Newtown High School led by 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.

Members of Llangollen’s Caffi Stori discover the Taliesin monument by St Mary’s Church.

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