Mary Ann Roberts


Mary Ann Roberts (nee Lloyd, bardic name: Gwenllian Lhuyd or Lhwyd) lived at Mur-y-Nant, Butler Hill, Llangollen. She was married to David Roberts (Dewi Clwyd).


A brief biography of Mary Ann and David Roberts but the place of her birth given to the creator of the Lady Llanover web site may be incorrect.




She was interviewed by John Richard Jones at the Pwllheli National Eisteddfod, 1925 who recorded the following:
She attended 50 Eisteddfodau, [and wore Welsh costume to at least some of them].  He noted that she was originally from Cardiganshire and thus wore the Cardiganshire costume.
Hat: Tassel over edge of brim, Gold Leek on front.
Cap: pokered [goffered]
Carried a Peithyn (wooden frame)
Petticoat: blue ground with red stripe and red hem at the bottom.
Apron: black and white check, but no corner design
Betcwn: Bodice kept together with thorn pin, short sleeves.
Cloak: Mrs Roberts was very emphatic on the Saxon origin of the Little Red Riding Hood style of Welsh cloak. The real Welsh cloak was a Mantell Fagi (3 x ¾ yards), plain, rectangular and wine coloured.
Betcwn, sketch of back view, coloured dark green
Shawl: small, similar to paisley, with fringe and fine white thin muffler arrangement above.
Knitting stockings and ball of wool suspended from apron strings.
Black stockings and black shoes
Black mittens
White kind of cooking sleeves with red and green design.
She followed Lady Llanover in presenting flowers to the arch-druid at the Gorsedd ceremony.
Her daughter and grand-daughter live at the post office at the corner of the street near Caernarfon Castle
[Mrs Roberts said that] a Cloak – was always a mother’s present to her daughter when she got married.

She also said that no Welsh costume, special and distinctive, existed in north Wales except in Merionethshire.
The pins she used to hold the flaps of the gown together are known as Draenen Ddu.
NLW, JR Jones collection, vol.2, pp. 22-24, 137

A complete costume, known to have been worn at the 1884 Liverpool Eisteddfod [and presumably also the one which JR Jones saw her in at Pwllheli in 1925] is now in the National Museum of Wales,  (St Fagans : 30.631/1-12)  There is a detailed record of conservation work on this in the St Fagan’s accession files.



The gown is similar in design (but not in detail), to Cardiganshire / Carmarthenshire gowns but the colour is unique: green is very rarely used in Welsh costume.

There is a photograph of her in the book People of All Nations (ed J.A Hammerton, published by the Amalgamated Press, (1922), part 48 (1/3), p. 5277 (see vol. 2, p. 137)

See Yarwood, Doreen, The Encyclopaedia of World Costume, (1978) p. 443, for an image which includes part of this costume, mixed with other items of Welsh costume. See St Fagans archives files for letters on this.