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Gelert’s Grave

In the village of Beddgelert a bronze statue commemorates the tragic tale of Gelert, a prince’s dog. The story of Gelert is a variation of the “faithful hound” myth that appears in many countries including India, Malaysia, and Egypt. A pair of headstones—one in English, the other Welsh—relate the tale.

“GELERT’S 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. THE PRINCE ALARMED HASTENED TO FIND HIS SON, AND SAW THE INFANT’S COT EMPTY, THE BEDCLOTHES AND FLOOR COVERED WITH BLOOD. THE FRANTIC FATHER PLUNGED THE SWORD INTO THE HOUND’S SIDE THINKING IT HAD KILLED HIS HEIR. THE DOG’S DYING YELL WAS ANSWERED BY A CHILD’S CRY. LLYWELYN SEARCHED AND DISCOVERED HIS BOY UNHARMED BUT NEAR BY LAY THE BODY OF A MIGHTY WOLF WHICH GELERT HAD SLAIN, THE PRINCE FILLED WITH REMORSE IS SAID NEVER TO HAVE SMILED AGAIN. HE BURIED GELERT HERE. THE SPOT IS CALLED BEDDGELERT”

According to lore, the word Beddgelert translates to Gelert’s Grave; however, other research indicates the village was named after a saint. Apparently, the grave was a late 18th century marketing ploy devised by a hotel landlord whose business needed a boost.

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