Sgwd Gwladys or Lady Fall is in the Vale of Neath and can be accessed from Pontneddfechan. This area to the south of the Brecon Beacons is known as Waterfall Country. There are numerous waterfalls in this area which include Melincourt Falls, Aberdulais Falls and Sgwd yr Eira.
Sgwd Gwladys is formed by water flowing over hard sandstone into a plunge pool below made up of soft mud rock. The rock is continuously eroding with 1.3 metres of rock is eroded approximately every 1000 years.
The Legend of Sgwd Gwladus on the River Pyrddin at Pontneddfechan
As you approach the charming, secluded falls of Sgwd Gwladus, allow your mind to think about the legend which tells of the Lady whose name has been given to the falls.
Reputed to have been one of the 24 daughters of Brychan of Brycheiniog, a 5th century prince, the beautiful, young Gwladus fell in love with a young man of the name of Einion. Sadly the relationship was never allowed to develop and Gwladus, wrecked with sadness for her unrequited love, mysteriously became immortalised, her spirit seen to flow elegantly and eternally, as this serene waterfall.
As for Einion, he too became immortalised in the form of a waterfall and flows, to this day, further upstream, flowing as a tall crooked cascade over the rocky levels before finally falling 70 foot, into the pool below.
Unlike the route to Sgwd Gwladus, the route to Sgwd Einion Gam has no path, and the River Pyrddin needs to be crossed several times in order to reach the fall, hence, still portraying an unapproachable / difficult spirit, even in his immortality.
The quirk of the story is that although Gwladus could never be with her lover in life, in immortality their spirits flow together for all eternity, with no way of separating the elements once they have poured over the rocks and merged in the pool below Sgwd Gwladus, where they remain to flow forever - as one.