Gelert's grave is the final resting place of the famous Gelert the Dog, who was buried in the small, beautiful town of Beddgelert - Beddgelert means Gelert's grave in English. Beddgelert is a small town in Gwynedd, north Wales. It is often described as the prettiest town in Snowdonia and the town, Gelert's grave, the story of Gelert and the surrounding area are major tourist attractions.
The legend of Gelert is one of the best known and most loved in Wales and is the story of a faithful hound and the sadness and tragedy of his death. Gelert's grave is located a short walk from the town Beddgelert.
One of the Kings of Gwynedd, Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great) lived from 1173 to 1240 and he eventually became the King of all of Wales. Llywelyn Fawr had a palace in the part of Snowdonia now known as Beddgelert. Llywelyn was a keen hunter and would spend many happy days hunting in the surrounding countryside. Llywelyn had a baby child and he would leave his favourite hound, Gelert to guard his child when he was hunting.
On the fateful day, when Llywelyn returned he found Gelert covered in blood and there was no sign of the child. Llywelyn thought that Gelert had killed his child and in his anger he killed Gelert with his sword. When Gelert was howling and dying, Llywelyn heard the child crying from under his cradle and discovered the body of a dead wolf by his side - Gelert has saved his child from the wolf but it was too late and Gelert, the faithful hound had dyed.
Llywelyn was distraught and struck with remorse. He carried the body of his faithful dog outside the castle walls, and buried him near the banks of the river Glaslyn. Everyone could see the grave of his favourite brave hound, and hear the story of his brave fight with the wolf to defend Llywelyn's child. It is said that after this day, Llywelyn never smiled again. Gelert's grave is still where he was buried today and visited by many thousands of tourists each year.
We now know that the town took its name of Beddgelert from a saint named Kilart or Celert, rather than from after Llywelyn's faithful hound, Gelert. Today, memorial stones mark the place of Gelert's grave’. One small problem however, is that the memorial stones are actually less than 200 years old! The "grave" is attributed to a David Pritchard, landlord of the Goat Hotel in Beddgelert in the late eighteenth century, who connected the legend to the village to encourage tourism.
On the supposed grave of Gelert there are two slate memorials, one in Welsh and the other in English. The latter reads:
Whether the story is based on legend, myth or history it is still an entertaining and engaging one but also a very sad one. To many children (and adults in Wales and worldwide) the legend of Gelert is true and very sad indeed.
Beddgelert is a small town in Gwynedd, north Wales. At the time of the last Census, the resident population was approximately 500. It is often described as the prettiest town in Snowdonia. The town, Gelert's grave and the surrounding area are major tourist attractions.
The mountain Moel Hebog towers over the town and Wales' highest mountain, Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) at a height of 1,085 metres or 3,560 feet, is only a few miles away.
Two small rivers meet in Beddgelert, the Glaslyn and the Colwyn and at the centre of the town is its famous old stone bridge.
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Last update 28th July 2022