Elis Bach

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Nant Gwrtheyrn folk tales: Elis Bach

Ty Canol was the home of Elis Bach, an interesting character who lived in the Nant in the early part of the 19th century. He was very short in stature and his legs were only 30 centimetres long.

By this period, a livestock market was regularly held in the Nant and was attended by farmers from far and wide. Elis Bach was the fastest runner in the area and could quickly climb over rough mountain slopes. He was therefore given the responsibility of rounding up the sheep and goats ready for market day.

One morning two strangers turned up at the market, offering well over the odds for their many purchases. After the sale, the two men were invited to Elis’ home to enjoy some of his mother’s home cooking.

Puzzled by their behaviour, Elis hid in a cupboard only to overhear the strangers conspiring to steal the sheep. Seeing the strangers hurry off up the corkscrew road, Elis set off up a separate path through the trees with his faithful dog, Meg, to cut them off.

Overtaking the thieves, he lay in wait at a bend in the road, before leaping out as the men passed by. Startled by their foes, both men hurried off towards Pistyll, leaving Elis and Meg free to lead the sheep back down the track to the Nant.