Llanwonno - the story begins
The story begins in the village of Cwtch which is located here at modern day Llanwonno. There is no evidence for any such ancient village, the earliest evidence of habitation dates from Roman times.
Llanwonno, the Church of St Gwynno, stands near to a now lost healing well. The early Celtic church often re-used "holy" sites, and who knows, perhaps that is what happened here.
Although no evidence of a Celtic village exists at this location exists, let alone of a healing community, the fact that there is a church here, and a holy well, lends itself perfectly to being a holy site of healing pre-Christianity.
At least one other such site existed in Ireland, indeed the first Celtic hospital in Ireland was founded in 397 BC. In fact one Irish law said that each territory had to have a hospital, with four doors, by a stream, which was free. For Rhiannon to found her own "hospital" would therefore have some precedent.
One of the near-by places referred to in the story is a water-fall known today as Pistyll Goleu. A number of excellent walks can be followed which take the visitor down to it.
What is very evident to any visitor is the peace of this place, still filled with trees and water; it is a valley of great beauty. Even now such places exist, tucked away like fairy glades.
The Places visited in the Story