Llyn y Fan Fach
|Llyn y Fan Fach|
|Location||Brecon Beacons National Park, Carmarthenshire|
|Type||reservoir, natural lake|
|Basin countries||United Kingdom|
|Max. depth||29 m|
|Surface elevation||506 m|
Llyn y Fan Fach (Welsh meaning Lake of the small beacon-hill) is a dammed lake in the western border of the Black Mountain (Brecon Beacons National Park) in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Llyn y Fan Fawr is 2km to the east.
Legend of Llyn y Fan Fach
A folklore legend is connected with the lake. In the folk tale, a local young man, son of a widow from Blaen Sawdde (near Llanddeusant) agreed to marry a beautiful girl who arose from the lake, on the condition that he would not hit her three times. He complied easily because the girl was so beautiful, and they were happy for years putting up a house in Esgair Llaethdy near Myddfai, and bringing up a family there. The girl had very special cattle, traditionally still kept at Dinefwr, Llandeilo, and other animals. But over time the man did hit his wife three times often as gentle admonishments. Reasons for why he hits her vary, from the wife laughing at a funeral or crying at a wedding. Regardless, she had to go back to the lake according to the promise, taking the cattle with her. But the mother came back to them to help and instruct her children, and in particular one called Rhiwallon (in some versions Rhiwallon is the name of the young man who marries the fairy girl). In due course Rhiwallon and the other sons went to the court of Rhys Gryg from Deheubarth where they became famous doctors that are known today as the Physicians of Myddfai . A number of their medical formulas remain in the Welsh manuscripts.
It is probable that the "Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach" was originally a Celtic goddess . Some elements in the story also relate to Welsh traditions of the fairies (or Tylwyth Teg in Welsh).
There are a few versions of this legend in Welsh and English.
- T. Gwynn Jones, Welsh Folklore and Folk-custom (1930; new edition 1979). Tt. 61-4. Background and a lot of interesting details.