Tales of Gold

illustrations by Barbara Crow
Apecs Press Caerleon 1999
Paperback £5.95

This 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.

Traditional 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.

Where the tales come from……….

Owain 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.

Fool's 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.

Elidyr describes a childhood ideal. We all imagine a childhood where summers are long and warm, and where there is security, love and happiness.

The Dragon's Hoard Many sightings have been reported in mid-Wales of a monster flying through the sky bearing its gleaming burden.

The 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.