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Gwynedd 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 »

Aberconwy House

Conwy’s oldest house, Aberconwy (parts of it date back to the 14th Century) on Castle Street, was a medieval merchant’s house, and is currently owned by the National Trust. Read More »

Aberdyfi and Cardigan Bay

The area around Cardigan Bay has a number of 'lost land' legends pertaining to it. These legends have changed over the centuries.

The most recent story concerns 'The Lost Lowland Hundred'; lands now drowned which were ruled by a King called Gwyddno Garantir. The area was protected from the sea by a system of sluices, dams and waterways. Read More »

Abersoch Ghost Video (2012)

According to the Daily Mail in a 7 January 2012 article entitled ‘The ghost of the Valleys? Read More »

Barclodiad-y-Gawres Chambered Cairn

Bar Carvings

This burial mound has five carved stones within its chamber, now capped by concrete to prevent their erosion. The stones are carved with a range of patterns including spirals cup marks and zig-zag features. The purpose of these marks is unknown, but they may have had some ritual function. Read More »

Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island (P)

The island is also known as the island of the currents and the saints. There are said to be the graves of 20,000 saints interred on the island, and legend suggests that anybody buried here will not go to hell no matter how wicked his deeds. Read More »

Barmouth Poltergeist

The following account of a poltergeist in Barmouth appeared in an edition of Folk-lore (June 1892) and was also reproduced in Richard Holland's 'Haunted Wales: A Guide to Welsh Ghostlore' Read More »

Bedd Branwen

The chambered tomb called the Bedd Branwen, is said to be the resting place of Branwen, the legendary wife of Bran described in early Welsh stories.

Directions: To the East of Elim.

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 »

Black Figures of Cwmorthin

The disused Cwmorthin Slate Quarry can be found on the shore of Llyn Cwmorthin above Blaenau Ffestiniog. The following description of a strange experience was e-mailed into Mysterious Britain early in 2013 and I would be very interested to hear from anybody who could add more. “Start from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Read More »

Bodewryd Standing Stone (a.k.a. Carreglefn, Maen Pres)

The Bodewryd standing stone is approximately between eleven and twelve feet tall, and stands alone in a field on the Plas Bodewryd Estate. It is also known as Carreglefn (Smooth Stone), and as Maen Pres (Brass Stone). Read More »

Bodowyr Burial Chamber

The remains of the Neolithic (4000-2000BC) Bodowyr Burial Chamber, consist of a capstone (seven feet by six feet) resting upon three uprights (making a Cromlech). Located northwest of the village of Brynsiencyn, in a field, the chamber is fenced off.

Access is via the B4419 near Llangaffo and a CADW signpost indicates the location.

Branwen The Daughter Of Llyr

Branwen The Daughter Of Llyr is part of The Mabinogion. The following is taken from Lady Charlotte Guest's translation which was published in 1877. 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 Celli Dhu

Bryn Celli Ddu

The name of this site translates as the mound in the dark grove. It is a developed site, which changed in ritual use and importance during the Neolithic and Bronze age period. Read More »

Bryn Gwyn Standing Stones

These are two giant standing stones, probably two of the tallest in Wales, standing thirteen feet and ten feet tall. They are situated in a field, and actually form part of the field boundary. The stones were recorded as being part of a stone circle the 17th Century, but the circle was allegedly demolished in 19th Century, by locals looking for buried treasure. Read More »

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 »

Bwgan Pant-y-Wennol

In his excellent book 'Haunted Wales: A Guide to Welsh Ghostlore', Richard Holland quotes the following article concerning a poltergeist at Pant-y-Wennol near Abersoch that appeared in the Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald, 29 May 1866. 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 »

Caer Leb

Caer Leb is a rectangular shaped earthwork with double banks and ditches. It measures approximately two hundred feet by one hundred and sixty feet, so it is quite a large site. A 3rd Century brooch and a 4th Century denarius along with some Roman pottery and Iron Age quern stones have been found at Caer Leb. Read More »

Caer-y-Twr

Caer-y-Twr is the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on the summit of Holyhead mountain (Mynydd Twr) 220 metres in height. Due to its position, it did not need much additional defence, but it had a stone rampart on the northern and eastern sides enclosing an area of roughly seven hectares. The site of the hill fort now contains mostly rubble, but the walls can still be identified. 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 Lligwy

Capel Lligwy

The remains of this building, close to Din Lligwy and the Lligwy cromlech can cause the visitor to stop and ponder why a chapel was built in this isolated evocative position overlooking L 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 Arthur (Arthur’s Rock)

Carreg Arthur is the name given to a hefty volcanic boulder estimated to be about 450 million years old that stands in a scenic area of North Wales to the south of Llanrug. 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 Bryn Gwyn

There is much speculation over the age and use of Castell Bryn Gwyn (White Hill Castle). It was not a hillfort, being built on flat land, but excavations in 1959-1960 discovered that the rampart and ditch were similar to hillfort defences. It may have been a Neolithic henge monument, but nevertheless, there has been a long history of occupation at the site. Read More »

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 Odo

The late Bronze Age hillfort of Castell Odo on the Lleyn peninsula is one of the most important archaeological sites in Wales. It is situated on the summit of Mynydd Ystum and was probably built and colonised by Celtic settlers coming from the Irish Sea in around 400 BC. 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 »

Church of St Mor and St Deiniol, Llanfor

The Grade II listed listed of Church of St Mor and St Deiniol in Llanfor is no longer a place of worship and has been recently been advertised for sale. Built in 1875 on the site of a much older building, possibly the oldest church in Merioneth. It is possible that this older church was reputed to have been haunted. 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.

Conwy & Conwy Bay

Andy's Mermaid

In legend a curse was put upon the town and its entire people by a mermaid hundreds of years ago. She was found stranded on the rocks at low tide by local fishermen, who would not return her to the water no matter how much she begged. She cursed the town saying that the people would always be poor. The curse is now said to have run its course. Read More »

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle

Conwy castle and the city walls were built from the years 1283-1289 by approximately 1,500 workers at the height of the construction, to form one of King Edward I (17th June 1239 – 7th July 1307) fortresses in his ‘Ring of Castles’, used to quell the Welsh uprisings. English citizens were moved in to the town and the Welsh people were banned from living there. Read More »

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 »

Din Lligwy (Ancient Village)

Din Lligwy

The ruins of Din Lligwy on the outskirts of Moelfre are the remains of an ancient fortified homestead which was abandoned about 1,600 years ago. Covering an area of about half an acre, enclosed by ash and sycamore trees, the site consists of the foundations of several buildings of varying shapes and sizes, all enclosed by a double wall, which was filled with rubble. Read More »

Dinas Dinlle Iron Age Hill fort

Dinas Dinlle

This coastal Iron Age hill fort in the community of Llandwrog was built on an isolated hill of glacial drift known as Boncan Dinas, but it has now been considerably eroded by the Irish Sea and the feet of tourists. There is a popular award winning beach on the foreshore, providing views of the Northern coast of the Lleyn Peninsula and Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey. 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 »

Ellyllon

According to 'British Goblins' (1881) by Wirt Sykes; 'The Ellyllon are the pigmy elves who haunt the groves and valleys, and correspond pretty closely with the English elves. Read More »

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