The White Lady of Ewenny

With magical river water, a ruined castle and legendary bands of robbers, it was natural that the area around the confluence of the Ewenny and Ogmore Rivers should have a ghost and so it has – a lady ghost.

Lady ghosts have been prolific in Glamorgan. Practically every hamlet and village had one and they came in all sorts of colours: grey, black, green and white. The apparition of Ewenny was of the white variety.

Between Ewenny and Bridgend there were two places called White Lady’s Meadow and White Lady’s Lane. This is where the ghost appeared.  According to ledgend she was always seen with a mournful expression pointing in the direction of Ewenny. Those who studied such things declared that such a stance was indicative of buried treasure and that the White Lady was a soul in torment over some misdeed she had committed in the past, probably in connection with the treasure.  Some even hinted that they knew where the hoard was but were, of course, afraid to go and retrieve it.

One day a man was crossing the marshy, mist-wreathed fields near the Priory, when he spotted the White Lady, as usual wringing her hands with a dolorous expression on her face.  Somehow he plucked up enough courage to speak to her, asking if he could help in any way. She turned to him and asked him if he would hold her tightly by both wrists and not release her on any account until she requested it.  This man did, holding on as tightly as he could to the ethereal hands; but the sudden barking of a dog made him start and he lost his hold. The White Lady’s face twisted in anger and she screamed, ‘Now I shall be bound for another seven years’.  Then she vanished and the man ran home badly shaken. When he related his tale to the villagers of Ewenny they all agreed that the White Lady was indeed the spirit of a tormented woman who had done some terrible misdeed in the past. The treasure was never found.

This particular ghost had a rival, another white lady who lived a little further down the coast at Ogmore Castle. This one was rather more vicious, having talons instead of hands; and was capable of severely mauling a fully grown man if she met him at night. One, at least, is said to have died from the wounds inflicted, if not from fright.

Illustration by Margaret Wooding

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