Water plays a central part in many Welsh tales, many tinged with tragedy and touched by love lost. These tales can be linked to unexpected places. No more so than in South Wales near the heartlands of the old industrial and mining country. Gwladus was one of the many daughters of the 5th King Brycheinog. Gwladus fell in love with Einion, but because of his less than aristocratic station in society, Brycheiniog would not allow the two to marry. Distraught that her love was denied Gwladus there herself into the River and drowned. A water fall then appeared at the site of the tragedy. Aunty and I have been here before but after all the rain this past week Afon Pyrddin was in full spate and Sgwd Gwladus was much more spectacular than the last time we were here.
The Pyrddin and Nedd Fechan valleys were once heavily mined for silica, used in creating fire bricks for the increasing number of iron foundries feeding the early stages if the Industrial Revolution. But it is difficult to find evidence of the toil and industry that once filled the valley. A few ruins hidden in the trees and entrances to the mines are all that can be seen today. It is now a beautiful place full of wildlife.