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Cnicht from west.jpg
Cnicht from the south-west
Elevation 689 m (2,260 ft)
Prominence 104 m (341 ft)
Listing HuMP, Hewitt, Nuttall
Translation knight (Old English)
Pronunciation /ˈknɪxt/
Location Gwynedd, Wales
Range Moelwynion
OS grid SH645466
Topo map OS Landranger 115
Listed summits of Cnicht
Name Grid ref Height Status
Cnicht 689 m (2,260 ft) Nuttall

Cnicht is a mountain in Snowdonia which forms part of the Moelwynion mountain range.[1][2][3]

Its appearance when viewed from the south-west, i.e. from the direction of Porthmadog, has earned it the sobriquet the "Matterhorn of Wales". In reality Cnicht is a long ridge and, at 689 m, is the 5th highest peak in the Moelwynion mountain range. It can be easily ascended from Croesor, the village at its foot, or, with more difficulty, from Nant Gwynant to the north-west.

Although rightly regarded by most people as a mountain in its own right, there are compilers of lists who consider that it does not in fact have enough prominence to separate it from its parent Allt-fawr in spite of over 110m of re-ascent and a distance of more than 4 km. Hence it is not regarded as a Marilyn.

The mountain gets its name from the old English word 'knight', the silent 'k' being pronounced at that time. It is said that the shape of the mountain bears a similarity to a knight's helmet.

It appears as the "Saeth" in Patrick O'Brian's 1952 novel Three Bear Witness (published as Testimonies in the USA), which is set in a fictionalised version of Cwm Croesor.[4] O'Brian and his wife lived in the valley between 1946 and 1949.


  1. ^ Marsh, Terry. The Summits of Snowdonia (London: Robert Hale, 1984)
  2. ^ Marsh, Terry. The Mountains of Wales (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1985)
  3. ^ Nuttall, John & Anne (1999). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (2nd edition ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-304-7.
  4. ^ Tolstoy, Nikolai (2005). Patrick O'Brian:The making of the novelist. London: Arrow. pp. 337–339. ISBN 0-09-941584-4. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°0′1.26″N 4°1′7.66″W / 53.0003500°N 4.0187944°W / 53.0003500; -4.0187944