The hiding place of the man known as ‘The Welsh Robin Hood’ is set to become one of the major attractions of the upper Towy Valley.

Following major improvements to the footpath leading to Twm Siôn Cati’s Cave, high in the wooded hills above Rhandir-mwyn, Carmarthenshire County Council has erected special signs to direct visitors to the site.

In his younger days, Twm Siôn Cati, who was born in 1532 and died in 1609, was a wild and mischievous character who often went into hiding following daring exploits at the expense of the rich and noble.

He was also a fervent Protestant, who fled to Geneva to escape persecution by the Catholic Queen Mary, and returned to Wales to be granted a royal pardon by Elizabeth I.

He counted the Royal Astrologer John Dee and the Welsh Protestant martyr John Penry among his friends.

He turned to poetry and became an accomplished heraldic bard. Towards the end of his life, he married Joan, a wealthy widow who lived at nearby Ystrad-ffin.

The cave once attracted thousands of visitors annually, and dozens of names have been carved in the rock.

The earliest carving dates from the beginning of the eighteenth century, but there are probably earlier examples hidden under the moss and lichen.

Among the names are those of members of the Pembrokeshire Yeomanry who travelled to the cave on horseback just before World War I and carved their names with bayonets.

Alun Jones, the prime instigator of the Twm Sôn Cati revival campaign, said: “It was a shame that many of the people who flocked every year to Rhandir-mwyn to see the Llyn Brianne reservoir and the red kite, probably didn’t know about Twm Siôn Cati and his cave.

“The signs will certainly help to give Twm the recognition and respect that he deserves.

"The next step will be the erection of an information board and a wooden statue in the vicinity of the cave.”

Local Plaid Cymru County Councillor Handel Davies, who has been instrumental in procuring the new signs, added: “Although Twm Siôn Cati has been the subject of numerous books, in English and Welsh, and a BBC television series, he is not as well-known as he should be.

“Hopefully the erection of the signs and the restoration of the path will draw the visitors here again so that they can pay homage to one the great iconic characters of Wales.”