NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Creiddylad, Creiddylat, Creidyled

A lady at Arthur’s court, daughter of Lludd Silver Hand.

Creiddyledd was considered the most beautiful girl in the British Isles, and she was loved by Gwythyr (Gwythr), son of Greidawl, and Gwynn ap Nudd. The warriors and their followers fought terrible battles over her, but Arthur intervened and the war came to a draw. Creiddylad remained unmarried, and both of her would-be paramours were forced to fight every May Kalends (May Day) for her love, until Judgment Day.

The episode is taken from Celtic mythology and the protagonists were probably originally divine figures. It has been suggested that, in Creiddyledd, we have the original of Shakespeare’s Cordelia.

Culhwch said she was one of the “gold-torqued maidens of Britain”.

Creiddylad daughter of Lludd Silver-hand (the maiden of most majesty that was ever in the Island of Britain and its three adjacent islands. And for her Gwythyr son of Greidawl and Gwyn son of Nudd fight for ever each May-calends till the day of doom).

Culhwch and Olwen | Late 11th century