The legends of the stone at Dolaucothi

The Pumpsaint stone. What caused its indentations, man or magic? © National Trust

The Pumpsaint stone. What caused its indentations, man or magic?

Situated in the heart of the Dolaucothi estate stands the old stone of Pumpsaint with which many myths and legends are associated. Some of them are simply disregarded as old wives' tales or scary stories to frighten the children of the village so that they would stay out of trouble. What would you believe?

One story tells of the five good men who lived near by: Ceitho, Celynnen, Gwen, Gwnog and Gwynaro.

A sorcerer who lived in the caverns of the mine attacked them with a hail storm so violent that their heads made dents in the rock.

The sorcerer took them down into his lair where they still rest, like King Arthur, in an enchanted sleep.

Mystic tale

Another mystical tale about the mine was printed in 1904: 'An inquisitive woman named Gwen, who went to spy on the saintly brothers in their long sleep, was punished by loosing her way in the passages of the mine. She, likewise remained in an undying condition, but was suffered to emerge in storm and rain. In the night, when her vaporous form might be seen about the old Ogofau, her sobs and moans were heard and frightened many.'

Not everybody believes the legends of the Pumpsaint stone. Archaeologists say that the stone is a Roman anvil used for crushing the ore to get the gold.

Which story do you like best?