Myths of Pennard Castle, Gower

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The ruins of Pennard Castle have attracted more than their fair share of myths over the centuries! The castle itself was ill-fated. It soon became unusable because exceptionally stormy weather in the 13th and 14th centuries blew large amounts of sand into and around it. See our page about the castle for more of its history.

Old painting of Pennard CastleAccording to some legends, the castle magically took shape on the clifftop in a single night.

It’s said that the castle was wrecked in one night too, because the lord of castle had reacted nastily to fair folk (fairies) making merry within the walls. The fairies cursed the castle, and it was quickly assailed by sand. That same night, Ireland’s beaches were stripped of their sand.

There are other connections with Irish folklore. The Irish banshee has an equivalent here in the form of a gwrach (witch or hag) who only appears – in a crow-like form – to families who are about to lose a loved one.

If you’re of a superstitious nature, you probably won’t want to spend a night at the castle. The hag is said to jump on anyone who dares to sleep near the structure at night, although some versions of the story say the gwrach only takes offence if the person sleeping is from one of Gower’s old families.

Another old belief was that anyone who dared to sleep within the ruins would die that night, go mad or wake up as a poet.

The sound of a weeping woman is sometimes heard at the castle, it’s said. Some myths say the castle is haunted by the spirit of a tragic bride, others that the weeping maiden is the hag in another guise.

With thanks to Pennard Golf Club, Helen Nicholas of Gower Unearthed, The Gower Society, and to the Gower AONB Partnership, led by Swansea Council with support and funding from Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales

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