Coordinates: 53°00′40″N 4°06′07″W / 53.011°N 4.102°W / 53.011; -4.102
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The village viewed from Mynydd Sygun
Beddgelert is located in Gwynedd
Location within Gwynedd
Area85.93 km2 (33.18 sq mi)
Population460 (2021 census)
• Density5/km2 (13/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSH591482
  • Beddgelert
Principal area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLL55
Dialling code01766
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
53°00′40″N 4°06′07″W / 53.011°N 4.102°W / 53.011; -4.102
A view of Beddgelert, 1814
The River Glaslyn at Beddgelert
St Mary's Church
Inside St Mary's Church

Beddgelert (Welsh: [bɛðˈgɛlɛrt] ) is a village and community in the Snowdonia area of Gwynedd, Wales. The population of the community taken at the 2021 census was 460 (rounded to the nearest 10).[1] This includes Nantmor and Nant Gwynant. It is reputed to be named after the legendary hound Gelert. The community is large and sparsely populated and covers 86 square kilometres.[2]


The village stands in a valley at the confluence of the River Glaslyn and the River Colwyn. Just above the confluence of the rivers, in the centre of the village, is an old stone bridge with two arches. The River Gwynant also exists in the area, coinciding with the River Colwyn under what locals know as "Pont Bren", creating the River Glaslyn. Many of the houses and hotels are built of local dark stone. To the west is Moel Hebog and its neighbours to the north and a series of hills rising to the top of Snowdon. A lane of the A4085 between Caernarfon (13 miles or 21 kilometres north) and Porthmadog (8 miles or 13 kilometres south) runs through the village.

The outdoor equipment company Gelert originated in Bryncir then moved to Beddgelert but later moved its headquarters to nearby Porthmadog.[3]


The folk tale of the faithful hound "Gelert" is often associated with the village. A raised mound in the village is called "Gelert's Grave" and is a significant tourist attraction. But the grave was built by the late 18th-century landlord of the Goat Hotel, David Pritchard, who created it in order to encourage tourism. Similar legends can be found in other parts of Europe and Asia.[4]

The village is probably named after an early Christian missionary and leader called Celert (or Cilert) who settled here early in the 8th century. The earliest record of the name Beddgelert appears on a document dated 1258, and the name recorded is "Bekelert". In a document of 1269 it is recorded as "Bedkelerd".[5] The current name of the village is often rendered "Begél" in the local Welsh dialect.[6]

The Church of St. Mary stands at the end of Stryd yr Eglwys (Church Street). This was originally a part of an Augustinian Monastery (the chapel), but is all that remains since the rest of the monastery was burnt down during Edward I's war of conquest.[7] Rebuilding was probably not completed at the time of the suppression of the monastery in about 1536. Parts of the building date from the 12th century and is still in active use today.

Economy and attractions[edit]

Beddgelert is a significant tourist attraction, its picturesque bridge crossing the River Colwyn just upstream of its confluence with the River Glaslyn. It is also the nearest village to the scenic Glaslyn gorge, an area of tumultuous river running between steep wooded hills. Much of the area is, however, becoming invaded by the alien plant, Rhododendron ponticum which provides a covering of pink blossom in May and June, but which is slowly blanketing out the native flora. Attempts have been made to control its spread by cutting and burning.

River levels on the River Glaslyn in Beddgelert are constantly monitored by the Natural Resources Wales, in order to give advance warning of flood conditions lower down the valley.[8]

Beddgelert has a range of hotels with public bars, guesthouses, cafes, and restaurants. The car park in the village provides the easiest access route for climbing Moel Hebog, the mountain which directly overlooks the village.

Part of the restored Welsh Highland Railway runs through the village. In April 2009 the railway station was reopened to the public. The line links the village with Caernarfon to the north and Porthmadog to the south.

Other local attractions include the Sygun Copper Mine.

The village is also linked with the Rupert Bear stories, as Alfred Bestall wrote and illustrated some of the stories whilst he lived in the village, in a cottage at the foot of Mynydd Sygun.[9] There is even a small area known as ‘Rupert Garden’ in the village, dedicated to the Bear; a short walk from Alfred Bestall's old home.

Many films have made use of the scenery around Beddgelert, most notably The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. Parts of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, starring Angelina Jolie, were also shot here. [10]


In 2021 the population of Beddgelert was recorded as 460, 34.5% of which were aged 55 to 74, higher than the national average of 25.1%. The largest ethnic group is White, making up 97.2% of the population, higher than the national average of 93.8%, with the second largest being Mixed with 2.2% of the population, higher than the national average of 1.6%. The largest religious group in Beddgelert is No religion with 46.5% of the population, which is also the national average, with the second largest being Christianity with 42.6%, lower than the national average of 43.6%.[1]

Notable locals[edit]

Beddgelert meteorite[edit]

On 21 September 1949 a meteorite struck the Prince Llewelyn Hotel in the early hours of the morning, causing damage to the roof and a bedroom in the hotel. The following week the Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald reported the incident:

STRANGE HAPPENING.- About 3 a.m. on the morning of September 21st, a piece of metal weighing about 5 pounds fell through the roof of Prince Llewelyn Hotel to a bedroom below. The noise was heard throughout the village, and up to the present no explanation has been forthcoming for the mysterious happening.[13]

The proprietor of the hotel, a Mr Tillotson, subsequently sold half the meteorite to the British Museum and half to Durham University, which had placed an advertisement in the local papers asking for information and offering a reward for any recovered fragments of the meteorite.

There have only ever been two such verified meteorite falls in Wales: the Beddgelert incident, and an earlier incident 14 miles (23 kilometres) away in Pontllyfni in 1931, at the other end of the Nantlle Ridge.


  1. ^ a b "Build a custom area profile - Census 2021, ONS". Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  2. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Beddgelert Parish (W04000048)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Gelert - About us". Gelert. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. ^ "The Legend of Gelert the Dog". Historic UK. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  5. ^ Nicolaisen, Gelling & Richards 1986, p. 49
  6. ^ Rhys, Guto (2022). Amrywiaith 2 - Blas ar dafodieithoedd Cymru (in Welsh) (1 ed.). Llanrwst: Carreg Gwalch. p. 40. ISBN 9781845278526.
  7. ^ "An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Caernarvonshire: II Central: the Cantref of Arfon and the Commote of Eifionydd". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 8 September 2019 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Natural Resources Wales - Glaslyn at Beddgelert
  9. ^ "Rupert Bear and Beddgelert". Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Places in Wales known for being TV or film locations". Archived from the original on 3 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  11. ^ WILLIAMS, JOHN (fl.1584-1627?), goldsmith, Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  12. ^ Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, ‘Marged ferch Ifan (bap. 1696, d. 1793)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 10 Oct 2015
  13. ^ "Meteorite falls in Wales". Archived from the original on 18 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  • Nicolaisen, W. F. H.; Gelling, Margaret; Richards, Melville, eds. (1986), The Names of Towns and Cities in Britain, Batsford, ISBN 978-0-7134-5235-8

External links[edit]