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Snowdonia Gazetteer

A Visit to Fairyland

Llyn Cwellyn

The following fairy folk tale takes place around Llyn Cwellyn, a 215 acre, 120 feet deep glacial lake which has now been dammed to create a reservoir. The tale is taken 'Bedd Gelert: Its Facts, Fairies, and Folk-Lore (1899) by D E Jenkins. Read More »

Bedd Gorfal

Bedd Gorfal is also known as the Harlech stone circle and is situated close to the ancient Fonlief Hir track way. There are eight stones in the four metre diameter circle, five of them are easily visible and three are small and easily overlooked. The tallest stone is only about one metre tall, and it is split. Read More »

Bryn Cader Faner

This is probably one of the most impressive Bronze Age cairn remains in Wales. It has 18 upright slender jagged pillars giving the sense of a coronet, and has a footprint diameter of 8.7 metres. It is supposed that the cairn was used to intern the dead, and it has been damaged by treasure hunters over the years, with the centre of the cairn being dug out. Read More »

Bryn Cader Faner Hut Circles

In the hills above Talsarnau, to the south west of Bryn Cader Faner can be found the ruins of some prehistoric stone circular structures. It is probably the remains of some early inhabited settlement in the area.

Bryn Hall

Bryn Hall was haunted by the ghost of a headless horseman. The haunting is said to have ceased after one of the servants received a message from the horseman pertaining to the location of a buried body.

The body was that of an illegitimate child belonging to the Lord of the hall.

Bryn-y-Castell

Taking the B4391 towards Bala from Llan Ffestiniog for just over a mile, you pass close to an Iron Age hillfort situated in rough moorland known as Bryn-y-Castell. The site was excavated by students from Plas Tan-y-Bwlch (Maentwrog) between 1979 and 1985, and it was found to be an important site for iron production until the arrival of the Romans in North Wales when it was abandoned. Read More »

Cader Idris

Cader Idris

This holy mountain has a rock seat called 'The Seat of Prince Idris'. It is said that anyone who spends the night alone on the mountain will either die, become insane or become a poet.

The seat of Prince Idris is also known as the Chair of Idris, and was named after a giant who was said to view the heavens from this lofty point. Read More »

Caerffynnnon

These are the remains of an ancient settlement, probably an enclosed group of huts. They appear as two round depressions close to some modern improved pasture.

Canrig Bwt

A famous Welsh witch, who used to sleep under stone at Llanberis, in North Wales, was called Canrig Bwt, and her favourite dish at dinner- was children's brains. A certain criminal who had received a death-sentence was given the alternative of attacking this frightful creature, his life to be spared should he succeed in destroying her. Read More »

Capel Garmon Burial Chamber

Located to the south of the village of Capel Garmon, signposted and in a farmer’s field, are the remains of an ancient Neolithic chambered cairn. It is estimated that the ruins are around 5,000 years old, and it was excavated sometime between 1925 and 1927. It has a curved passage approximately fifteen feet long and four feet high, and two circular burial chambers to the east and west. Read More »

Capel Garmon Church

There have been a series of churches in Capel Garmon, the latest of which is the now closed, this being  St Garmon's Church that was built in 1862. In his 'Welsh folk-lore' (1887) Elias Owen recounts the following legend he heard pertaining to the church in Capel Garmon from his friend Rev. Owen Jones of Pentrevoelas. Read More »

Capel Salem

Salem

Built in 1850, this Baptist Chapel was made famous by the Devon artist Sydney Curnow Vosper (29 October 1866 – 10 July 1942) in 1908, when he painted a member of the congregation in traditional Welsh costume. Read More »

Carn March Arthur

A rock overlooking the Dovey Estuary, on a hill above the A493, bears a depression that is said to be the hoofprint of Arthur's horse.

Directions: The rock lies above the A493.

Carneddau Hengwm

The Carneddau Hengwm are a couple of quite large tumuli or Neolithic burial chambers that are about two and half miles inland from Llanaber off the A496 Meirionnydd coastal road between Barmouth and Harlech. They lie in an East to West alignment, about fifty yards apart and at an altitude of 900 feet. Read More »

Carreg Standing Stone a.k.a. Moel Goedog Stone 8 a.k.a. Fonlief Hir Stone B

Carreg is the second tallest stone of the Fonlief Hir ancient track way. It stands 1.8 metres high and found standing in a field beside the road.

Castell Caer Lleion (Seion)

Castle Caer Lleion, located at the peak of Conwy Mountian (Mynydd-Y-Dref), (at an elevation of 244 metres) to the east of Conwy, is a noteworthy and easily accessible Iron Age hill fort which has spectacular views of the North Wales coast line and the Carneddau Mountains. Read More »

Castell Tomen-y-Mur, (a.k.a. Mur-y-Castell and Heriri Mons)

Tomen-y-Mur

Tomen-y-Mur (translated as ‘Mound in the Walls’) was originally an ancient Roman fort on the slope of Mynydd Maentwrog to the north east of Llyn Trawsfynyedd, with access from A470 although it is not signposted. Read More »

Castell-y-Bere

Castell-y-Bere

Close to Llanfihangel-y-pennant is the native Welsh castle known as Castell-y-Bere. Constructed from stone, on top of a rocky hillock that overlooks the Dysynni Valley it was once the largest and most richly ornamented castles in Wales. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, a.k.a. Llywelyn the Great (c. Read More »

Clogwyn Arllef Hillfort

On the summit of an isolated ridge in the parish of Llanbedr stand the remains of the prehistoric hillfort known as Clogwyn Arllef. The dimensions are roughly 70 metres in diameter from north to south, and 55 metres form west to east. The remains are defined by fallen stone wall which is an average of 2 metres wide.

Coed-y-Bleiddiau (Forest of the Wolves)

The Coed-y-Bleiddiau was once ancient woodland where it is said that the last wolf in Wales was allegedly killed. There is now another living wolf in woodland, but it’s safe because it’s made form of a living willow sculpture.

Cors-y-Gedol Burial Chamber

Cors Y Gedol Burial Chamber

The Cors-y-Gedol burial chamber which still has it's capstone intact is also referred to as Arthur’s Quoit and can be found close to some ancient hut circles known as the Irishmen’s huts on the slope of Moelfre. Read More »

Craig-y-Dinas Hillfort

Craig-y-Dinas hillfort can be found due east of Dyffryn Ardudwy, overlooking Llyn Irddyn. It is at the summit of a prominent rocky outcrop (1150 feet) and is polygonal in shape and has dimensions of approximately seventy metres by forty metres (0.5 acres). Read More »

Dinas Emrys

Dinas Emrys

The legendary stronghold of Vortigern, and the place where the young prophet Merlin revealed the fighting dragons.  In legend there are two characters associated with the same story with slight variations. One is Vortigern, the Dark Age ruler who let the Saxons into the country, and was responsible in part for their later invasions. Read More »

Dyffryn Ardudwy Cromlechs

Dyffryn Ardudwy Cromlechs

Behind the local school at Dyffryn Ardudwy and reached by a sign posted footpath two exposed cromlechs are visible amidst a field of stones. The cromlechs are about twenty feet apart and the stones that surround them mark the remains of the huge cairn that would have covered these graves that date back to the Neolithic period. Read More »

Fairies of Llyn Dwythwch

Children were often warned in the past about the dangers of fairies and John Rhys in his 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901) vouched for an account from a lady who grew up in Cwm Brwynog thirty to forty years earlier. Read More »

Fairy Bride Of Beddgelert

In ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland mentions the following story from Beddgelert where a stolen fairy lady ‘would only consent to be the servant of her ravisher if he could find out her name. Read More »

Fairy Gold Of Cwmglas Hollow

Cwm glas hollow

According to John Rhys in his 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' [1901] 'The following is a later tale, which Mr. Thomas Davies heard from his mother, who died in 1832:--'When she was a girl, living at Yr Hafod, Llanberis, there was a girl of her age being brought up at Cwmglas in the same parish. Read More »

Fetching a Halter

Llyn Gwynant

The following folk tale entitled 'Fetching a Halter' appeared in 'The Welsh Fairy Book' (1908) by W. Jenkyn Thomas 'A VERY large company came together to hold a merry evening at Bwlch Mwrchan, a farmhouse close by Lake Gwynan, in Snowdonia. It was a stormy night. The wind whistled and howled in the woods, tearing the trees like matchsticks. Read More »

Ffynnon Enddwyn

Ffynnon Enddwyn is a Holy Well or Sacred Spring in the Merionethshire area of Gwynedd. The information sign at the well states:- Read More »

Ffynnon Lloer

This mountain lake is situated within the Carneddau range in Snowdonia. The lake has an area of approximately 6 acres, is 250 metres long and is overshadowed by the peaks of Pen yr Ole Wen (the seventh highest peak in Wales (3209 feet)) and Carnedd Dafydd (the third highest peak in Wales (3425 feet)). Read More »

Fonlief Hir Stone C

Found on the side of the road just before the road forks off to Moel Goedog hillfort, this standing stone is 1 metre tall and leans over slightly towards the West.

Fonlief Hir Stone D

This standing stone looks more like a boulder on the side of the road; it is short and squat, 0.9 metres high by 0.6 metres by 0.5 metres. It can be found between the two tracks at the junction where the road forks off to Moel Goedog hillfort.

The Grave of Gelert

Gelerts Grave

'In the 13th century Llywelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, "The Faithful Hound", who was unaccountably absent. On Llywelyn's return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. Read More »

Groes Las

The Groes Las settlement between Harlech and Llanfair was a domestic agricultural homestead in prehistory. It consists of the remains of a hut circle with walls approximately 3.0 metres thick and up to 1.2 metres high.

Gwern Einion

Gwern Einion is a representative cromlech, found on Gwern Einion Farm in the district of Llanfair, Meirionnydd. It has been damaged over the centuries, the burial chamber has historically been used as a shed, and the cairn has been robbed of its stone to build dry stone walls. It has actually been incorporated into a dry stone wall of the garden of a now derelict cottage on the farm. Read More »

Gwydir Castle

Gwydir Castle

Gwydir Castle is nestled in the Vale of Conwy in North Wales, and it has a long and fantastic history. The first recorded owner was Howell ap Coetmor, whose family members are recorded as having fought at the battles of Poitiers (1356), Shrewsbury (1402) and Agincourt (1415). Read More »

Harlech and ‘The Mabinogion’

Much of the Mabinogion saga is based in the Ardudwy region of North Wales. It was from the ‘Castle Rock’ or ‘Rock of Harlech’ (where Harlech Castle now stands) that the Welsh King Bendigeidfran first saw the Irish longboats of Matholwch loom into view with their shields turned upside down as a sign of peace. Read More »

Haunted Toilets

Haunted Toilet

I came across a reference claiming that the public toilets opposite the Gwesty’r Llew Coch (Red Lion Hotel) in Dinas Mawddwy are reputedly haunted by the apparition of a silver haired old man. I have no idea what evidence this based upon, or even if there is any.

Hollow Demon Oak

A tree known as Derwen Ceubren yr Ellyl (hollow tree of the demons/spirits) used to stand in Nannau Park and it had a reputation of being haunted and evil, for this is the tree in which Owain Glyndwr was, according to legend, supposed to have hidden the body of his cousin Hywel Sele, 8th Lord of Nannau after he had killed him in 1404. Read More »

Lady Anne Prendergast

In Haunted Wales (2011), Richard Holland quotes an old account of an experience with the reputed phantom of Lady Prendergast. It was the experience of a farmer named Morus Roberts from Croesor Bach who came across the ghost at Gwernydd in Beddgelert parish. Read More »

Lake Bala

Llyn Tegid

Llyn Tegid is Wales’s largest lake being nearly four miles long. It lies in a rift valley running north east to south west, extending down to the sea at Tywyn. The lake is 529 feet above sea level, has a maximum depth of 136 feet and covers an area of 1084 acres. Read More »

Llyn Cau

Llyn Cau

The glacial lake of Llyn Cau at Cader Idris is said to be bottomless and according to tradition it is thought to be the home of a lake monster responsible for drowning a man who went swimming in the cold waters. Read More »

Llyn Coch (Red Lake)

If you ascend Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) on the Snowdon Ranger path you will encounter Llyn Coch. Legend has it that this lake is a favourite abode of the Tylwth Teg (Fairy Folk). There is a ‘Fairy Bride’ legend associated with the lake, one version of which goes something like this: Read More »

Llyn Cowlyd

On the edge of the Carneddau range of mountains in Snowdonia lays the deepest lake in North Wales, Llyn Cowlyd. The lake has been dammed so it is unnaturally deep, but it has given soundings of 229 feet, and has a mean depth of 109 feet. The lake is almost 2 miles long, and a third of a mile wide, with the adjacent hills dropping steeply to the lakes edges. Read More »

Llyn Du'r Arddu

In 'Celtic Folklore Welsh And Manx' (1901) John Rhys describes the following tale he was told concerning a fairy bride in the summer of 1881. ‘An old woman, called Siân Dafydd, lived at Helfa Fawr, in the dingle called Cwm. Brwynog, along the left side of which you ascend as you go to the top of Snowdon, from the village of lower Llanberis, or Coed y Ddol, as it is there called. Read More »

Llyn Dulyn (Black Lake)

Llyn Dulyn is a small cirque lake bound by the high cliff faces of Garnedd Uchaf and Foel Grach on the edge of the Carneddau mountains. It is approximately 33 acres in area, has a mean depth of 104 feet, and is 189 feet at its deepest point. The lake has a dam which was constructed in 1881, and it now serves a reservoir for Llandudno. Read More »

Llyn Glaslyn (Lake of the Blue Spring)

At 1,970 feet above sea level, and covering an area of 18 acres Llyn Glaslyn is one of the glacial lakes of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon), and being the highest and remotest of the larger lakes it abounds in legend. Read More »

Llyn Idwal

Llyn Idwal is a small glacial lake in Snowdonia, easily accessible from the A5. The path begins at Ogwen Cottage at the foot of Llyn Ogwen, crosses a stream and then turns right after a quarter of a mile in to Cwm Idwal, a dramatic valley surrounded by the crags of Glyder fawr, Twll Du (‘The Black Hole’ or more popularly known as ‘the Devils Kitchen’) and Y Garn. Read More »

Llyn Irddyn

There is an old local tradition about Llyn Irddyn, that it is unwise to walk too close the shore or the water’s edge because it is inhabited by mischievous fairies. However, they cannot harm you if you walk on the grass.

Llyn Llydaw (Brittany Lake)

At 1,430 feet above sea level Llyn Llydaw (Brittany Lake) is another sterile glacial lake of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) in its eastern valley Cwn Dyli. It has an industrial air about it, and it has the Miners’ track crossing its eastern end by a causeway that was built in 1853 when the lake was lowered. Read More »

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