Abercych - the First Branch of the Mabinogi*
In the first branch of the Mabinogi, two great lords, Pwyll of Dyfed & Arwan of Annwn, (also known as Lord of the "Otherworld") meet whilst out hunting in a secluded wooded valley called Glyn Cuch in Abercych. This village is located on the far side of the Ffynone Woods & Top of the Woods campsite.
It is here at Abercych, at the meeting of 2 rivers** the two lords cut a deal over a stag hunt. The deal was to swap places & rule each others kingdoms for 12 months and to bring down Arwan of Annwn's enemy, Hagfan.
Watch the video to listen to the story
They made this deal because Pwyll disrespected Arwan during a stag hunt & this was his way of making amends.
Lord Arwan’s hunting dogs, were bright white dogs with red ears who took down a huge stag in the woods. Prince Pwyll arrived at the fallen stag first and fed it to his own hunting dogs, this was deeply disrespectful to the other accomplished hunter who was also a Lord.
The meeting in Abercych formed the friendship of these two chieftains & the other legends associated with their lives in the first branch of the Mabinogi.
These legends include, bringing down King Arwan's mortal enemy Hagfan at the ford, Prince Pwyll courtship & marriage to Rhiannon, the birth & disappearance of their son Pryderi.
To hear the full epic stories you will need to come and join Milly Jackdaw around the campfire this summer at Top of the Woods!
*The 1st branch of the Mabinogi is one of 4 branches that form the British Celtic mythology, which was originally first written down in Welsh, during the medieval period. it is deemed to be the earliest prose of Britain and tells stories that were passed down orally and is of a much earlier period
**In mythology, water and boundary streams are often believed to be special places where you can enter the “Otherworld” a different kingdom and realm associated with the non-living or Gods of another world