by Barbara Crow
Press Caerleon 1999
is a collection of tales about caves and treasure. It uses characters
and incidents which recur in Welsh folklore and reflects readers'
growing interest in their Welsh ancestors. The caves are situated
in and around Llandeilo, Dolaucothi and Dinefwr in South Wales.
Visit this locality, and you will find a land of mist, crumbling
castles and silent caves. The dead stones protect dead people,
but the sleepers in the caves dominate the landscape with a
pervading presence. They live in the air, in the hills, in the
streams, in the stones, and in the dreams of the living. Tales
of caves, of treasure, of sleeping knights and dragons guarding
gold and jewels invest the region with a sense of mystery and
enchantment. Visit this place and you realise that the past
is not dead: it informs, controls and shapes the present.
tales and legends are part of all cultural heritage, and we in
Wales have our own tales and legends which readers of all ages
find enchanting and exciting. In Tales of Gold they
are taken back to a Wales where Arthur and Merlin reign supreme
alongside historical characters like Owain Lawgoch, a descendant
of Llywelyn 1st. When reading or listening to these original tales,
children are drawn into a world of wonder and beauty which their
vivid imaginations help to create.
the tales come from
Lawgoch was born in the 14th century and is said to be buried
beneath the castle of Carreg Cennen. A similar story is told of
King Arthur. Perhaps the story continues to breathe life because
people wish to cling to a belief that their folk-heroes are immortal.
Gold is based on a series of folk-tales common in the Dolaucothi
region. Although the main story remains the same, some details
differ. For example, the gold may become dust, cockle shells,
or dried leaves.
describes a childhood ideal. We all imagine a childhood where
summers are long and warm, and where there is security, love and
Dragon's Hoard Many sightings have been reported in mid-Wales
of a monster flying through the sky bearing its gleaming burden.
Golden Harp The story of a golden harp invested with magical
properties is a well known Welsh folk-tale. Huw represents the
storyteller of ancient tradition, the person who has kept alive
these traditional tales by word of mouth and by his wanderings
throughout the land.