A faithful hound... Gelert at Beddgelert

Gelert's grave, just a short walk from Beddgelert village © Mark Sunderland

Gelert's grave, just a short walk from Beddgelert village

Discover the tragic tale of Gelert, the faithful hound that gave the village of Beddgelert (Gelert's grave) its name.

Llywelyn the hunter

The 13th century prince Llywelyn the Great was an early inhabitant of what would one day become the village of Beddgelert. Fond of hunting, he owned many hounds but his favourite was Gelert, which was given to him by the English King John.

A tragic loss

One day, the prince and his princess set out for a day’s hunting together, leaving their baby in the care of Gelert. On returning home they were horrified to discover their baby was missing and Gelert’s muzzle was covered in blood.

Llywelyn immediately drew his sword and, in deep despair, killed his favourite hound. As Gelert fell to the ground, he let out a mighty yelp and a baby’s cry was heard from a dark corner of the room.

Gelert the defender


Llywellyn discovered the baby unharmed but by its side lay a dead wolf. Gelert had killed the wolf to defend the baby but had died by his master’s sword.

Grief-stricken and filled with remorse Llywelyn gave the faithful hound a ceremonial burial by the river. Gelert was eventually immortalised in the name the village is known by today Beddgelert - Gelert’s grave.