Cilcennin history archaeology and antiquities. Is a village in Ceredigion, West Wales. Situated between Pennant and Trefilan.
|Cilcennin History Pictures|
Since 1909 the Ceredigion Historical Society has published articles written about the archaeology, antiquities and history of Ceredigion, many of these articles printed within the Ceredigion Journal, are about the history of Cilcennin.
The society has also produced three county volumes, under the name of the Cardiganshire County History series, these knowledgeable, learned, comprehensive and scholary publications record the history of prehistoric, early and modern Cardiganshire.
Extract from ‘A Topographical Dictionary of Wales‘ by Samuel Lewis 1833
“KÎLKENNIN (CÎL-CENIN), a parish in the lower division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 9 1/4miles (N. W. by N.) from Lampeter, comprising the Upper and Lower hamlets, each of which maintains its own poor, and containing 695 inhabitants. This place is remarkable in history as the scene of a slaughter committed, in 1210 by Rhys and Owain ab Grufydd, at the head of a chosen band of three hundred men, on a superior body of English and Welsh troops, under the command of their uncle Maelgwyn, whom John King of England had reinforced with a body of auxiliaries, to aid him in recovering possession of the estates wrested from him by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, the reigning prince of North Wales, and by him given to Maelgwyn’s nephews, who, unable to meet in open combat the force under their uncle’s command, here approached his camp secretly by night, and, furiously rushing upon his unarmed soldiers, slew many of them, and compelled the rest, among whom was Maelgwyn himself, to seek safety by flight. The parish is computed to contain about one thousand acres, mostly arable, in some parts rocky and hilly, and in others flat, of which about forty are subject to inundation: the only river is the Ayron, which skirts a part of it. The living is vicarial, being consolidated with the vicarage of Llanbadarn-Trêveglwys, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St.David’s. The church, dedicated to St. Cannen has recently been rebuilt, in the later style of English architecture, the expense of which was defrayed by public contributions. There is a place of worship for Independents. On the summit of an eminence, in this parish, are the remains of an ancient castle, called Bwlch y Castell, of the foundation and history of which no particulars have been recorded. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £126.18.”
3. External links
- Coflein, discover the archaeology, historic buildings, monuments and history of Cilcennin, Ceredigion
- Historic Place Names, learn about the field names and house names in the community of Cilcennin
- A Pint of History, read about the history of Ceredigion pub’s, inn’s and local taverns of Cilcennin
- People’s Collection Wales, share your stories, memories and photographs of Cilcennin
Some ideas to share your Stories below!
Have a memory and your not sure what to write? We have made it easy with some prompts and ideas, just think about this place and the importance its had in your life and ask yourself:
- What are my personal memories of living here?
- How has it developed and shops changed over the years?
- Do you have a story about the beach, community, its people and history?
- Tell us how it feels, seeing photographs and images of this place again?
- Tell us your favourite memories about this place?
The aim of the Ceredigion Historical Society is to preserve, record and promote the study of the archaeology, antiquities and history of Ceredigion. That objective has remained the same since the foundation of the Society in 1909, though its name was changed from Ceredigion Antiquarian Society to the Ceredigion Historical Society in 2002.
THE FAIRIES (TYLWYTH TEG)
“THE CARDIGANSHIRE PAINTER AND MUSICIAN, WHO PLAYED HIS FLUTE TO THE FAIRY LADIES AND NEARLY SECURED ONE OF THEM AS A WIFE.
About the year 1860, a builder from Aberayron, in Cardiganshire, was erecting a Vicarage at Nantcwnlle, about nine miles from Aberayron, not far from Llangeitho. There was a certain man there employed as a painter, whose name was John Davies, a harmless and superstitious character, who once had been an exciseman, afterwards a carpenter, and at last became a painter, though he did not shine in either of the two trades. He was however, a brilliant musician, and belonged to a musical family. He was acquainted with the works of Handel, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, whilst one of his favourites was the song of the Witches in “Macbeth,” He also always carried his flute in his pocket. Whilst this Nantcwnlle Vicarage was in course of construction, John was sent one day on a message to Aberayron. He went there in due time, and in the afternoon left the town and started on his return journey, having the choice of two roads—either returning through the Vale of Aeron, or across the hill—country of Cilcennin, The latter was a very lonely route, but he chose it as it was about two miles shorter. So John hurried on his journey so as to reach his destination before night. When he came to the little village of Cilcennin, he had a good mind to enter the public house known as the “Commercial,” to see his old friend Llywelyn, when he remembered that it was getting late and that he had to pass by the ghosts of the moors and the Fairy circles on the top of the mountain. After walking on again about a mile, he arrived at another public house, known as “Rhiwlas Arms.” He was now within three miles to the end of his journey, and it occurred to him that it would be a splendid thing to have one pint of beer to give him strength and courage to meet the ghosts. So in he went into the Public House, where he met with many old friends, and drank more than one pint. After taking out his flute from his pocket, John obliged the merry company with many of the old Welsh airs, such as “Ar Hyd y Nos,” “Glan Meddwdod Mwyn,” “Llwyn on,” etc. It was 8 o’clock p.m., and in the middle of October. John started from the house, boasting to those who were present that he was not afraid, but poor fellow, as soon as he went out into the darkness and the stillness of the night, his heart began to beat very fast. Nevertheless, he walked forward from the cross-road towards Hendraws, and turned to a road which led direct to Nantcwnlle. For a considerable distance, there was no hedge except on one side of the road, and nothing but a vast open moor on the other side. John knew that he was to pass a small cottage called Ty-clottas, and expected every moment to see the light of the old woman who lived there, who was known as Peggi Ty-clottas. Unfortunately, John had somehow or other wandered away from the road into the bog; but seeing light before him, he went on confidently. He followed the light for some distance, but did not come to any house, and he noticed that the light was travelling and giving a little jump now and again.
At the early dawn next morning, old Peggi Ty-clottas, when she was half awake, heard some strange music, more strange than she had ever heard before. At first she thought it was the “toili” (phantom funeral), which had come to warn her of her approaching death; for to believe in the “toili” was part of Peggi’s confession of faith. But when she listened attentively, Peggi found out that the music was not a dead march, but rather something light and merry. So it could not have been the “toili.” Afterwards she thought it was the warbling of some bird. Peggi had heard the lark many a time at the break of day singing songs of praises to the Creator. She had also heard the lapwing and other birds, breaking on the loneliness of her solitary home; but never had she heard a bird like this one singing, singing continually without a pause. At last she got up from her bed and went out into the moor in order to see what was there. To her great surprise, she saw a man sitting on a heap, and blowing into some instrument, who took no notice of Peggi. Peggi went quite close to the man and asked him in a loud voice, “What do you want here?” Then the man stirred up and ceased to blow, and with an angry look, said,—“Ah you,—you have spoiled everything; it nearly came to a bargain.” It proved that the man whom Peggi came upon was John Davies, the painter, who had been playing his flute to the Fairies, and had almost made a bargain with them to marry a Fairy lady, when old Peggi came to spoil everything.
When Mr. T. Compton Davies, heard about John among the Fairies he went to him and begged him to tell him all about it; and he did so. According to John’s own account of his night adventure it was something as follows:—When he got lost in the bog, he followed the light, till presently, he came to a Fairy ring, where a large number of little Fairy ladies danced in it, and to his great surprise, one of them took his arm, so that John also began to dance. And after a while, the Queen of the Fairies herself came on to him, and asked him, “Where do you come from?” John replied, “From the world of mortals,” and added that he was a painter. Then she said to him, that they had no need of a painter in the world of Fairies, as there was nothing getting old there. John found the Fairies all ladies, or at least he did not mention any men. They were very beautiful, but small, and wearing short white dresses coming down to the knees only. When he took out from his pocket his flute and entertained them by playing some Irish, Scotch, and English airs, the Queen informed him that they (the Fairies) were of Welsh descent. Then John played some Welsh airs from Owen Alaw to the great delight of the Fairy ladies, and they had a merry time of it. John soon became a great favourite, and asked for something to drink, but found they were “teetotals.” Then he fell in love with one of the Fairy ladies, and asked the Queen for the hand of the maiden, and informed her that he had a horse named Bob, as well as a cart of his own making. The Queen in reply said that they were not accustomed to mix with mortals, but as he had proved himself such a musician, she gave her consent under the conditions that he and the little lady should come once a month on the full moon night to the top of Mount Trichrug to visit the Fairies. Then the Queen took hold of a pot full of gold which she intended giving John as a dowry, but, unfortunately, at the very last moment, when he was just going to take hold of it, old Peggi TyClottas came to shout and to spoil the whole thing; for as soon as the Fairy ladies saw old Peggi, they all vanished through some steps into the underground regions and John never saw them again. But he continued to believe as long as he lived that he had been with the Fairies.”
From ‘Folk-Lore of West and Mid-Wales’ by J. Ceredig Davies (1911).