James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

The country of the fairies

In his books and articles Elias sought to record the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. Two letters to Archaeologia Cambrensis in 1885-6 describe ‘Rambles over the Denbighshire Hills’: "The writer had arranged with Mr. Robert Roberts, Clocaenog, to accompany him in a ramble over the hills to the west of Ruthin; but the day fixed upon, August 27th turned out to be a wet day. Still the journey was undertaken, and much curious information, or folk-lore, was collected". He goes on to describe the start of their journey, with interesting asides about the places they pass by. Then -

We leave the bridge and go to a house called Bodrual, a small farm reclaimed from the mountains and here pony and trap are left. The rain continued coming down, and to make the time pass away quickly and agreeably, the writer introduced subjects of conversation which he knew country people often talk about. Seated around the fire for no outdoor work could be done, because of the rain (and it may here be said, by way of a passing remark, that wet days are capital times to visit upland farms on folk-lore expeditions, as the time hangs heavily on the farmers’ hands) the conversation commenced on the subject of corpse candles.
He recounts several folk-tales and then introduces some information about a nearby well.   >>