If myth and legend is the means by which people have traditionally sought meaning to mystery, then perhaps it is not so strange that the Bronze Age lumps and bumps that lie scattered about the landscape of Ynys Prydain were thought to be the work of giants by our ancestors. A surprising amount of these burial mounds were left unopened, perhaps in respect for what lay within, perhaps through fear. As a consequence, the term, ‘Bedd y Cawr’ in naming these mounds. Translated as ‘The Giant’s Tomb or Grave, they show how our ancestors of the past attempted to make sense of what they did not fully understood, even if to us today, their notions seem fanciful.
One such Bedd y Cawr lies on the outskirts of Bryneglwys, on a minor back road from the village just off the A5104. There was once a standing stone of some small height atop the tumulus. It was believed that this stone had been erected to mark the tomb of a giant soldier who had been killed in some ancient battle in a neighbouring field.
Perhaps a little foolishly, a farmer by the name of Edward Roberts of nearby Pen-bedw, decided that the stone would make a most excellent gatepost, and had away with it. Unfortunately, on placing it by the main gate to his farm, Roberts found the stone had, it seemed a mind of its own, for the thing refused to stay upright. Day after day, Roberts would wake early to find the post had toppled over, and whatever means he tried to make it stand, failed miserably. More concerning to Roberts however, were the terrible nightmares that plagued his nights and left him fearful of shadows.
Eventually, the farmer decided to return the stone to its rightful place, and on re-erecting the stone atop Bedd y Cawr, his nightmares ended. An Edward Morris is said to have planted yew trees about the tumulus to discourage anyone else making free with the stone. However, no stone is to be seen today, and perhaps then somewhere there is someone whose nights are filled with evil dreams…