Sometime during the 19th century, the owner of Foel Fawr Farm near Derwen found that despite all efforts a butter churn he owned failed to successfully produce butter. Though he tried a variety of solutions, nothing would make the butter churn work. At this point, the farmer began to suspect bewitching, since such mischief was not uncommon. It was often the case that a perceived slight would induce a witch or wise man to conjure up some minor curse, and such stories are rife within North East Wales.
The solution was to call upon the local ‘unbinder of spells’, sometimes called a ‘dat-witchiwr’. The farmer called upon an E. Edwards of Gwyddelwern, who agreed to help. On arriving at Foel Fawr Farm, Edwards recited a counter spell to cancel the curse, and bound sprigs of rowan about the butter churn. In Celtic myth the rowan, sometimes called quickbeam, was used for many purposes, but in Wales largely for breaking magical spells. The diary maid resumed her churning and of course butter was made almost immediately.