"The Lady of the Lake and the Physicians of Myddfai" Top 5 Page for this destination Brecon Beacons National Park Things to Do Tip by Spincat

  Llyn-Y-Fan Fach
by Spincat

The village of Myddfai makes a good base for walking holidays in the Beacons and for seeing castles and gardens.

The area is associated with the C13th Physicians of Myddfai: their skills are explained by a local myth. From the village you can walk up to Llyn-Y-Fan Fach, where the story begins.

There once lived an old widow and her son tended cattle on the mountains near Llyn- Y- Fan Fach . One day he saw a beautiful woman sitting blithely upon the surface of the lake. He offered her some bread and cheese, in the hope it would please her. She refused, saying " Hard baked is your bread! It is not easy to catch me! ", and dived under the waters.

When he told his mother she suggested that he offer her unbaked dough next time, but she refused this again saying " Unbaked is your bread! I will not have you!" Finally the maiden accepted his bread and his hand in marriage - on one condition, that she would disappear into her watery home if she was struck more than three times. The son agreed and out of the waters of Llyn- Y- Fan Fach she came followed by a great herd of horned cattle and flocks of sheep.

The two of them lived happily for many years and had three sons. But you can guess what happens - a series of misadventures leads to the lady being struck 3 times and disappearing into the lake again with her animals. On several occasions she reappeared, however, and taught her family herblore and medicine.

The Physicians had a collection of wise sayings (recorded in the Red Book of Hergst, 13th century), of a rather gloomy kind: "eat mutton at bedtime, dead by the morning." ...and so on. The eldest son of the Lady of the Lake was physician to the warrior son of the Welsh Prince Rhys ap Gruffydd. The last Physician's tombstone can be seen in the village church. Manuscripts are to be found in the British Museum and the Bodleian, Oxford. The National Garden of Wales is developing a Physicians of Myddfai garden.

There is a herb garden and herb growing company nearby - website bottom of page.

Directions: Off the A40 near Llandovery

The site gives info about accommodation in the village

Website: http://www.myddfai.com/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 10, 2006
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