Faerie lore – Llyn Y fan Fach

I have a fascination for all things to do with faeries and faerie lore is no exception. So where did it all begin? I was brought up by a mum who would often take me for picnics and walks in beautiful woods and surrounding countryside. Each walk would be magical and we would go bird watching, tree hugging and looking for the faeries hence my passion for them now.

Moving to a rural part of Wales in June 2016 opened up this magical realm once again for me because the place is steeped in legends and wonderful history. In this blog I am going to look at one of the lakes called Llyn Y Fan Fach in Brecon Beacons.in the western border of the Black mountain.  Llyn Y Fan Fach  is thought to be a bottomless lake  and is associated with Faeries and I’m going to tell you about the famous faerie legend there.


One day whilst a farmer was tending to his herd he spotted a beautiful faerie woman emerging from the lake whom he instantly fell in love with. He offered her three types of bread to win her over. The first bread was hand baked to which she refused. The second was dough and again she refused. But the third which was lightly baked bread was more to her liking and she accepted his proposal.

She immediately disappeared back into the lake and returned moments later with her father and her identical sister. The father of the faerie set up a test to see if the farmer was worthy of his daughter. He asked them to differentiate between his two daughters. Thankfully the farmer was successful as he recognized his love from the way she tied her sandles. And he was allowed to have her hand in marriage.

The faerie realm gifted them with more cattle, as many as they could count in one breath. The father told the farmer that he must treat his daughter well and must never strike her more than three times otherwise she would disappear altogether and return to the faerie realm.

They had a successful and happy marriage and had 3 sons. However the farmer unwittingly struck her more than three times and on the fourth occasion she disappeared back into the lake with all of the faerie cattle that had been gifted to them.

It is said that the faerie wife returned occasionally to teach her sons the art of healing and herb lore. This was passed down the family line for centuries and the family became well known as the physicians of Myddfai.

The Llyn Y Fan Fach lake is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is in a very remote location and the best way to get there is on foot consulting an appropriate ordnance survey map.

Do you know of any faerie legends in Wales? If you do please share on the comments section and I may just publish it.


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