A small and quiet village, Llanmadoc once supported both a bustling weaving and farming community. Still resoundingly picturesque, Llanmadoc of yesteryear must really have been a stunningly beautiful place in which to wander and take in the scenery.
Perhaps a little of how the village once appeared can still be appreciated by visiting St. Fagan's Museum of Welsh Rural Life, near Cardiff, as they removed both a wool factory and a farmstead of the time from here to painstakingly reconstruct it brick by brick for posterity on their grounds.
Climbing the ridge of Llanmadoc Hill - which affords excellent views over the neighbouring hamlets of both Llanmadoc and Cheriton, as well as holding a gorgeous panoramic sweep towards all four corners of the Gower Peninsula - the strange earthwork construction known at the Bulwark can easily be identified.
This was an Iron Age hillfort enclosure and is the second largest construction of its kind in the Gower Peninsula (the largest being that of Cilifor Top, in Llanrhidian). Originally designed to hold cattle and other livestock, the site was later adapted and fortified to protect the entire community at times of war.
Two further such earthwork constructions can be visited at the height of another of Llanmadoc's numerous hills, that of Harding's Down.
Llanmadoc Hill itself also hold at least 14 Bronze Age cairns. Although many now lay broken and/or overgrown, the Great Cairn still makes for quite an impressive sight.
Lagadantra Farm and the Verry-Volk
Following the road past Llanmadoc Church, the road soon comes to a dead end. Near here lays Lagadantra Farm, where it is believed that the last siting of Gower's very own fairy people - the Verry-Volk - took place.
The tale recounts how a little old woman visited the farm, requesting the loan of a sieve so that she might go sifting for gold. The farmer's wife told the old woman that she did not possess such an item, upon which she was reminded of the one that was being used in the kitchen to strain hops.
The strangeness of the old woman's appearance, allied to her uncanny knowledge of the existence and use of a kitchen sieve that surely could never have been naturally known to her, forewarned the farmer's wife that she could well be speaking to a Verry-Volk. With this in mind, the sieve was immediately cleaned and handed to the old woman.
Several days later, the old woman appeared again at the farmhouse, this time to return the sieve to its rightful owner. Thanking the farmer's wife for her kindness, she then revealed herself to be truly one of the fantastical Verry-Volk and stated that, to reward her good nature, the largest cask in the farmhouse would thereafter never be without beer. One condition was laid down to this spell, however. The Verry-Volk were a very secretive people, so the instant that the farmer's wife confided in any other person concerning the matter, the spell would be broken. Of course, the farmer's wife could not hold the secret for any great length of time and the cask was soon empty.
Lagadantra Farm seems to have been very popular amongst the Verry-Volk for this was not the only incident that connected them to the household. A short while previous to the aforementioned occurrence, a servant girl at the farm discovered a shining new penny in her pail every morning before she went to milk the dairy cows. This continued for quite some time until, thinking that it might be some test devised by her employers to test her honesty, she mentioned the fact to them. Again, like the farmer's wife after her, once mention had been made of the magic, it was to be beheld no more and not one single penny more was ever discovered by the servant girl.
Another locale here, of which the Verry-Volk seemed very fond, can be explored by following the lane which drives down from the church to the western end of the Burry Estuary. This is a quiet area of marsh, cliffs and estuarine track known as Cwm Ivy and fringes Llanmadoc's entire sea-level access from the north .