Map of the Mabinogi

My map of the world of the Mabinogi shows the Welsh and English names, and spans from Iwerdun (Ireland) to Llundain (London).

PIC IS BIGGER than shown here – rightclick and save!
Map of the World of the Mabinogi by Shan Morgain

COPYRIGHT remains mine as Shan Morgain, but you are free to rightclick and download for personal use, or teaching, providing the map is unchanged. For publication, please contact me.
>My thanks to John Davies, the sailor, for help locating Gwales (Grassholm) island; and for patient help with the Welsh names from Christine James, my supervisor. Any mistakes are still my responsibility.

Notes about the places in the map.

The boundary between Wales and England is the modern one. In the mediaeval period this fluctuated a good deal, changing according to the fortunes of war and colonisation. The First Branch of the Mabinogi presents Gwent as definitely a Welsh lordship: it was by the later 11thC under English, then Norman invasion.The Third Branch of the Mabinogi locates Henfford (Hereford) on the English side.

The First Branch opens at Arberth in DYFED, shown here at modern Narberth. An alternative location is northerly, near Ceredigion. Here Pwyll sets off to hnt, and later meets Rhiannon. GWENT where Pryderi grows up, is about 100 miles away from Arberth, five days to a week’s travel. Pryderi marries Cigfa of Gloyw (Gloucester) in border country. He adds the territories of Seisyllwch to DYFED (made up of Ystrad Tywi and Ceredigion both frequently contested territories). Annwfn is an anomalous location, possibly outside physical geography, so not shown.
The Second Branch has a Brythonic/ British king holding court at Harlech with its great rock, in GWYNEDD; ruling all Ynys Pydain, Britain. Branwen’s wedding is held at Aberffraw. The British sail west to war in IWERDDON (Ireland). Pryderi, Manawydan and other war Survivors return, to sojourn in Harlech, then Gwales off the DYFED coast. Cernyw (Cornwall) is visible from Gwales’ enchanted hall. Finally the Survivors take Bendigeidfran’s Head to Llundein.
The Third Branch is mainly set in DYFED. It mentions the usurper king Caswallawn in Caint (Kent). Pryderi visits him at Oxford. The Dyfed royals live at Arberth then go east to Henfford (Hereford), then returning to Arberth.
The Fourth Branch moves from the northern borders of DYFED (Ceredigion, Seisyllwch) to GWYNEDD.

MEMO Discussion Feb. 19 Swansea

From the Mediaeval Mabinogi to My Research Website: a Tour Guide.
Shan Morgain, postgrad. University of Swansea.
19 February 2015, University of Swansea.

A triadic package designed to prompt discussion in three different directions, to cross fertilise each other (interlace).

THE MABINOGI First I will quickly review the most major context points on the Mabinogi. the oldest prose stories of Britain.
See attached briefing for advance preparation. For those new/ish to the topic only a gist understanding of this will be necessary. It is provided with fuller information in compact form to keep on file longer term. Welsh language version is about to be added.
RHIANNON AS ‘TOUR GUIDE’  Secondly I will explain informally how a certain Rhiannon is acting as my personal ‘Tour Guide’ for my research project.
MY RESEARCH WEBSITE Thirdly I will become your tour guide around my research website, to look at why I find it so vitally useful as a research tool.

DISCUSSION will be welcome on any of the interlaced points of the triad: the Mabinogi opus itself; or Rhiannon as Tour Guide, as key to my personal research approach; or the use of a website as a research tool.

Mabinogi_Briefing_by_Morgain_2015 is attached as advance preparation in pdf format.
It has two packed summary pages, some nice pictures, and useful resource lists for further interest on two levels: introductory or personal interest, and academic research.

MEMO, Swansea University’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research. Associate Director: Professor Daniel Power.

Please use the Contact page if you would like more information.

Sioned Davies Narberth tour

21 Sept. 2013 A tour of the Mabinogion sites with Sioned Davies.

Beginning/End location: The Old School car park, Narberth, SA67 7AG
Price of ticket: £10 (£8 for Academy members)
Food and drink: Not included. There will be an opportunity to buy lunch on the trip.
Recommended clothing: Comfortable shoes; warm clothing; raincoat.

Contact Literature Wales to book a place on the trip:
029 2047 2266

Four Books (Exhibition NLW)

EXHIBITION The first time all the original Mabinogi  manuscripts have been in one place.

Now on display at the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru – the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth.

(Normally the Llyfr Coch is kept in Oxford but it has been lent for this exhibition. The Llyfr Gwyn is not in this special exhibition, but is close by in the same area.)

Outline info about the Manuscripts (PDF):…eld_a_ni/arddangosfeydd/ardd_pan_4llyfr_s.pdf


With thanks to Hilaire for circulating this information.

Sioned Davies ‘Performing the Mabinogion’

Sioned Davies ‘Performing the Mabinogion’ 17 July at Chapter Arts, Cardiff. FREE.

Sioned workshop

A workshop for storytellers with Sioned Davies, Translator of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of the Mabinogion, 2007. The workshop will be held through the medium of English and will include:

  • a very brief introduction to the Mabinogion and to the medieval Welsh storyteller;
  • a discussion of what makes a good storyteller, drawing on techniques found in the tales themselves;
  • guidance regarding pronunciation of Welsh personal names;
  • a discussion regarding how we can re-invent these tales (or individual episodes) for a modern-day audience.

Participants are very welcome to bring along  with them examples of specific problems/challenges that they have found when re-telling the tales of the Mabinogion, and any questions they may have regarding the texts themselves.

For further details and to reserve a place please contact Heledd Brooks-Jones, School of Welsh, Cardiff University on 02920 870637 or



Welsh Prose 1300 -1425: Mabinogion

Original Welsh source texts, i.e. manuscript text, sometimes with variants from several manuscripts.  Includes Llyfr Gwyn, Llyfr Coch, and the Peniarth fragments.

Searching allows you to locate where particular words are used in any or all of the manuscripts; the  word list presents a guided index of all words used in the manuscripts.  Very useful to find other references to a topic. Variant spellings can also be traced.

Categorised and published University of Wales, Cardiff.