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Beddgelert, Carnarvonshire

Historical Description

Beddgelert or Bethgelert, a village in Carnarvonshire, and a parish partly also in Merionethshire. The village stands at the confluence of the Colwyn and the Glaslyn rivers, near Aberglaslyn Pass, 6 miles S of the summit of Snowdon, 7 N of Portmadoc on the Cambrian and Festiniog railways, 4 from Snowdon station on the North Wales Narrow Gauge railway, and 13 SE of Carnarvon. It nestles in a deep romantic vale, engirt by lofty mountains, amidst the grandest scenery in Wales; presents very strong attractions to tourists, artists, and anglers; was anciently noted as a resting-place of pilgrims; and has a post and telegraph office under Carnarvon. The church was restored in 1882; it has two fine arches in the Early English style, and the east window has three long lancet lights also in the Early English style rilled with stained glass. It is supposed to occupy the site of an ancient priory. The priory is thought by some to have been older than Owen Gwynedd, who began to reign in 1137, by others to have been founded by Llewelyn the Great, A romantic tradition asserts that Llewelyn founded it to commemorate the preservation of his infant son in its cradle from an intruding wolf, the animal being killed there by a watchful hound, and the hound itself killed immediately after through mistake by the master, and this tradition is the subject of the late Hon. W. B. Spencer's ballad of " Prince Llewelyn and his Greyhound Gelert," but it probably was borrowed from some one of similar old stories current in England, in Ireland, in France, in Persia, and in other countries. The parish comprises 26,060 acres; population, 1217. Moel Hebog, a mountain overhanging the village on the W, has a recess which was a hiding-place of Owen Glendower, and yielded up from a bog in 1784 a very curious brass Roman shield. Some pretty cascades occur on the Colwyn, a few hundred yards from the village, and the pass to the S, noticed in the article ABEBGLASLYN, teems with interest. The principal scene of Southey's poem of " Madoc" is laid in the parish. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bangor; gross value, £187 with residence. There are two dissenting chapels.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Registration districtFfestiniog1837 - 1935
Registration districtPwllheli1935 - 1937
Registration districtPwllheli & Portmadoc1937 - 1974

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Carnarvonshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Beddgelert are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online:

RegionNorth Wales
Postal districtLL55
Post TownCaernarfon