Wales, United Kingdom

Did Giants Once Roam the Welsh Valleys?

January 25, 2017



Giants or “Cewri” feature prominently in Welsh folklore and mythology. Among the most notable are Bendigeidfran fab Llyr, a mythological king of Britain during the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, Idris Gawr of Cader Idris, and Ysbaddaden Bencawr, the chief antagonist of the early Arthurian tale “How Culhwch won Olwen”. Both Arthur and Gwalchmai fab Gwyar feature prominently as giant-slayers in Welsh tradition.


But when reading these stories, you automatically think of these as mythological creatures, fairy stories created by those with a vivid imagination. Have you ever considered the possibility that they really did exist? Or, that they do indeed still exist on our earth today?


Is it possible that there is a surviving species of hominoid that had branched off well before Neanderthal man developed throughout evolution to be what we are today?


In the Solomon Islands, many people believe that the Giants were there before they were and many believe that they are still living today on Guadalcanal, (and goodness know where else) and even claim that some of their own people are crossbred descendants from the Giants. Discovery is not as simple as you might think either, the islands are heavily shielded by military not to mention the fact that you would face a helicopter ride and then a week long trek into the depths of the most dense jungle to reach these areas, also fiercely protected by local tribes who uphold strong superstitions and will not allow non natives to simply trespass into territory they hold as highly sacred.  It is little wonder they remain, as yet, undiscovered.


First of all, let’s examine, what is a real giant? Are they huge humanoids or could they be just exceptionally tall people?


Giants are traditionally thought of as the monsters of human appearance but extraordinary size and strength common in the mythology and legends of many different cultures. The word giant, coined in 1297, was derived from the “gigantes” of Greek mythology.


In the Bible, Genesis 6:4-5 tells of the Nephilim before and after the Flood. According to Genesis 7:23, the Nephilim were destroyed in the Flood, but then, Nephilim are reported after the Flood also. There are effectively two views regarding the identity of the nephilim, which follow on from alternative views about the identity of the sons of God.


Through the centuries, certain archaeologists have searched for fossil evidence of a race of giants. Alleged evidence I have been able to trace with a simple online search includes:

The Giant of Castelnau: Estimated at 11 feet 6 inches (3.5 m) tall. Discovered by the anthropologist Georges Vacher de Lapouge at the Bronze Age cemetery of Castelnau-le-Lez, France in the winter of 1890.


1894 press accounts mentioned a discovery of bones of human giants unearthed at a prehistoric cemetery at Montpellier, France. Skulls "28, 31, and 32 inches in circumference" were reported alongside other bones of gigantic proportions which indicated they belonged to a race of men "between 10 and 15 feet in height." The bones were reportedly sent to the Paris Academy for further study.


The remains of the Si-Te-Cah or Sai'i, a legendary tribe of red-haired cannibalistic giants, which were allegedly found in 1911 by guano miners in Nevada's Lovelock Cave. However, the size and nature of the fossil remains has been disputed by Adrienne Mayor in the book, Fossil Legends of the First Americans.


The earth is a big place however, so how was there room for a race of giants in my humble home of Wales U.K? I stand by a theory that where a country has a rich faerie folklore, then you will also find stories of giants’ UFOs’ and other cyprids’ and some research into Welsh history revealed that I was correct!  


Villagers in Nant Gwynant in North Wales have long told a story about how a cave in the valley came to be named. Long ago villagers and shepherds in the area were plagued by a thief that would break into their homesteads. They would awaken to find that their goats and cows had been milked, food had been stolen and the best sheep taken during the night. This went on for some years and with no proof ever being found as to who the suspect was.


One day a shepherd was returning from the mountains later than usual and spotted something strange; a huge burley naked man covered from head to toe in thick red fur was resting on a neighbouring hill. The shepherd suspected that this out of place and strangely longhaired giant might be the thief that was plaguing the village so the shepherd snuck past the man without being detected and ran back to the village as soon as he was out of sight. The villagers tried many times to capture the giant man but all attempts were futile.  After everything they tried to catch the hairy man had failed the men of the village reluctantly gave up and resigned themselves to the fact that the thefts would continue. However, one woman was so angered by her frequent losses she decided to stay up every night and hide herself in the front room of her farmhouse to wait for when the hairy man decided to pay a visit. Sure enough after a few weeks the hairy man paid a visit to the wrong house and the lady was waiting with a hatchet.


She remained hidden until the man had squeezed his bulky frame halfway through the window before she struck the hairy man with her hatchet. The unexpected blow cleaved off the hairy man’s hand in one blow and he recoiled back out of the window before the woman could smite him with a further whack. The brave woman dashed out of her door, hatchet in hand ready to finish the man off but by the time she had gotten outside he had fled.


When the village awoke the next day and the men learned what had happened they followed the trail of blood the hairy man had left behind to a cave beneath a local waterfall. As the big hairy man was never seen again it was assumed by the villagers that he had died in the cave, so the cave was named ‘the cave of the hairy man’.


On 21st October 1899, The Rhyl journal ran an article titled “Welsh Folk Lore, Giants and Other Shadowy Matters” written by Rev. Elias Owen author of “Welsh Folk-Lore” A Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales in 1896.


The book opens with a long description of The Origin of the Fairies or "Y Tylwyth Teg", explaining that the name means "the Fair Tribe", who were "spoken of as a people, and not as myths or goblins, and . . . are said to be a fair or handsome race." He wrote about the giants the following..


“In various parts of Wales we have names of places called after giants, and legends are associated with these places.


 These are mythical beings, and the stories connected with them are all fanciful creations of fervid imaginations still they are worth recording, and it would be interesting to have a complete collection  of tradition, of these fabulous beings arranged in such a convenient form that they could easily be referred to.


 We want workers to collect, before it is too late, every shred of folklore in Wales, whether of giants or other cognate matters. Physical phenomena are often ascribed to giants. It is not necessary that more should be said here than to mention a few of these In Montgomeryshire, not far from Welshpool, is a conical bill called Breidden, and a few hundred yards nearer Welsh- pool there is another hill called Golfa. They block up the valley of the Severn in those parts to a certain extent. They seem, at a distance, to have been artificially constructed, and a local tradition was told to me, on the spot, that these hills were the work of the giant and his wife. It seemed that the inhabitants of a certain town in pre- historic times had offended this great man, and he determined to destroy both it and its people. To accomplish this, he and his wife, laden with large burdens of stones, started for the offending city.


But information of the giant's intentions preceded him, and one of the pigmy inhabitants of the Court was delegated to frustrate his design. The wise little man met the giant, groaning under his huge load, and was accosted by him asking for directions. "I came from that poor place," said the man. "everything I have on were new when I started, but now they are rags." "Ah," said the giant, "is that so; then I go no further," and down went the huge burdens of both wife and husband, and there they remain to this day conspicuous for miles around, and they are known as Breidden Hill and Golfa.

 In Llanrhaiadr Mocbnant parish there are some huge rocks called Baich y Cawr a'r Cawres, a Ffedogaid y Forwyn (the Giant's Burdens, and the Servant Girl's Apronful). In connection with these is a curious legend.


It is said that a giant residing in the neighbouring mountain determined to build a bridge over a hollow ca