The Ogress

King Alaric encountered the most beautiful lady he’d ever seen. He followed her but she vanished. Days later, he found her again. She agreed to marry him if she could leave the palace one night a week. Alaric agreed. They married, but soon Alaric began to have doubts about his wife. He confided in a magician/priest, Willin. Willin could restore peace, but demanded to marry the Queen himself. Alaric agreed. Willin followed the Queen to the Ogof on Llanymynych Hill and cast spells to bring peace, then went to marry his new bride. But Willin’s spell had broke the Queen’s charm. She was now an ugly ogress and Willin’s wife for evermore. That same night, Alaric’s palace was drowned in a lake.

Y Gawres

Tra’n hela, cwrddodd y Brenin Alaric â dynes brydferth a rhyfeddol. Syrthiodd dros ei ben a’i glustiau mewn cariad â hi, a gadawodd ei frenhines ar ei chyfer hi. Roedd hi’n fodlon ei briodi fo, ar yr amod ei fod o’n ei chaniatáu i adael un noson bob wythnos heb ofyn ble byddai hi’n mynd. Priodon nhw, ond cyn bo hir roedd Alaric yn anhapus ac roedd o eisiau cael popeth fel yr oedd. Wnaeth y mynach Willin, yr oedd hefyd yn ddewin, addo’i helpu, er mwyn i Willlin ei hun allu priodi’r frenhines. Cytunodd Alaric, a thorrodd Willin swyn a oedd ar y frenhines, ond doedden nhw ddim yn sylweddoli bod y frenhines yn troi’n gawres unwaith yr wythnos. Pan aeth Willin i gwrdd â hi, gwelodd hi yn ei ffurf gwreiddiol, sef cawres hyll. Roedd rhaid i Willin aros gydol ei oes gyda’r gawres. Yn y cyfamser, cafodd llys Alaric ei lyncu gan ddŵr llyn newydd, sef Llyn Llynclys. Mae pobl yn dweud fod ei lys yn dal dan y dŵr.

No-one attempted a video telling of this story during our project. If you wish to search for videos, audios or written versions of the tale it is often known as “The Sunken Court” or “Morwen of the Woodlands”.

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 Lake at Llynclys photographed 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