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Discover the legend of Gelert

Three visitors stood under a tree with sunlight shining through the branches on a path at Craflwyn and Beddgelert, Wales
Visitors at Gelert's Grave memorial at Craflwyn and Beddgelert | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Discover the tragic tale of Gelert, the faithful hound, that gave his name to a village of Beddgelert. Visit the grave memorial and see the rugged beauty of the area.

Llywelyn the hunter

The 13th century prince Llywelyn the Great was an early inhabitant of what would one day become the village of Beddgelert. Llywelyn was very fond of hunting and he owned many hounds to help during a hunt. His favourite hound was called Gelert who had been 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 safe care of Gelert. On returning home they were horrified to discover the baby was missing and Gelert’s muzzle was covered in blood.

Llywelyn immediately drew his sword and killed his favourite hound. As Gelert fell to the ground a baby’s cry was heard from a dark corner of the room.

Path along the river in Beddgelert, Snowdonia, Wales
Go walking in Beddgelert, Wales | © National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Gelert the defender

Llywellyn discovered his heir was lying safe. But, by the baby’s side lay a mighty wolf, which had been killed by Gelert. The protective hound had killed the wolf to defend the baby but had then died by his master’s sword.

A visitor and dog walking beside the Glaslyn river, Craflwyn and Beddgelert, Wales
Dog walking beside the Glaslyn river, Craflwyn and Beddgelert | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Hound and legend immortalised

Stricken with grief 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 today as Beddgelert, which translates to Gelert’s grave.

Beautiful views of Beddgelert, Gwynedd, Wales

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