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Berwyn range

Coordinates: 52°55′16″N 3°25′26″W / 52.92111°N 3.42389°W / 52.92111; -3.42389
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Berwyn range is located in Wales
Berwyn range
Location of Berwyn Mountains, Wales.
Cadair Berwyn, with Llyn Lluncaws in the foreground
Summit of Moel Sych
Summit of Cadair Bronwen, looking towards Cadair Berwyn

The Berwyn range (Welsh: Y Berwyn or Mynydd y Berwyn) is an isolated and sparsely populated area of moorland in the northeast of Wales, roughly bounded by Llangollen in the northeast, Corwen in the northwest, Bala in the southwest, and Oswestry in the southeast.


The area is wild and largely vegetated by heather about one metre thick, with some acidic grassland and bracken. It is not very popular for hill-walking or scrambling since the peaks are lower than those in nearby Snowdonia. However, the topmost peaks are rugged and have a distinctive character. Nearby towns include Llangollen and Corwen, which are popular tourist destinations.

The main summits are Cadair Berwyn at 832 metres (2,730 ft) above sea level, Moel Sych at 827 metres (2,713 ft) and Cadair Bronwen at 783 metres (2,569 ft) above sea level. The Berwyn range is crossed to the southwest by the B4391 Milltir Cerrig mountain pass at an elevation of 486 metres (1,594 ft).

Cadair Berwyn is the highest point in the Berwyn range, and the highest point in Wales outside the National Parks. Cadair Bronwen and Foel Cedig to the west are the two Marilyns that form the Berwyn range.

The mountain lies on main ridge of the Berwyn range which runs north–south. The eastern side of the ridge is characterised by steep drops and crags including Craig Berwyn north of the summit and Craig y Llyn to the south. Craig y Llyn forms the headwall of a cwm, and it is to this that the word cadair (chair in Welsh) presumably refers. Further north along the ridge is Cadair Bronwen, whilst to south the ridge continues to Moel Sych (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈmɔil ˈsɨːx], meaning "dry hill").

It is often reported that Moel Sych, 1 kilometre (58 mi) along the ridge, is of equal height, but Cadair Berwyn's spot height on the Ordnance Survey maps, where the trig point stands, is not the true summit. Cadair Berwyn's summit, 200 metres (220 yd) south of the trig point, is three metres taller than Moel Sych. This summit is listed as Cadair Berwyn New Top on the Nuttall list.

Several other summits in the area are listed as Hewitts or Nuttalls, including Foel Wen ([ˈvɔil ˈwɛn], Welsh for white hill) and Mynydd Tarw ([ˈmɐnɨð ˈtæɾu], bull mountain).

The summit lies on the border between Powys and Denbighshire, and is the highest point in Denbighshire. The northern end of Craig Berwyn is the highest point in Wrexham County Borough.


There is a standing stone at SJ080337 near the summit between Cadair Berwyn and Tomle. It was re-erected in June 2008 by High Sports.

The Berwyn range also played its part in causing King Henry II of England to turn back during his invasion of Gwynedd in 1165. Rather than taking the usual route along the northern coastal plain, his army invaded from Oswestry and took a route over the Berwyns. The English invasion faced an alliance of Welsh princes led by King Owain Gwynedd, but there was little fighting – endless days of heavy rain forced the English to retreat.

Alleged UFO crash[edit]

At 8.38 pm on 23 January 1974, an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was felt over a wide area of north Wales and as far as Liverpool. Since earthquakes are uncommon in the UK,[dubiousdiscuss] it was not generally recognized for what it was, and since a number of unusual lights in the sky had been observed the same evening, it was considered possible that an aircraft had crashed, or a meteorite had impacted. Further confusion was caused by lights seen on the Berwyn Mountains, which subsequently turned out to have belonged to poachers.[1]


The area supports substantial populations of upland birds including raptors, such as the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), merlin (Falco columbarius), and peregrine (Falco peregrinus) (about 14–18 breeding pairs of each species, 1%–2% of the total British population),[2] and for this reason it is a Special Protection Area classified in accordance with the European Union's Birds Directive. Much of the area is also designated a national nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the Berwyn and South Clwyd Mountains Special Area of Conservation.[3] Other wildlife include short-eared owl, raven, buzzard, polecat and golden plover.


The scholar T. Gwynn Jones suggested that a possible origin of the term "Berwyn" was "Bryn(iau) Gwyn (ap Nudd)", where the Middle Welsh word "bre" (hill) had mutated to Ber + Gwyn, Gwyn ap Nudd being the mythological King of the Tylwyth Teg (Fair Folk, or fairies).[4] A more likely etymology is "bar" (summit, crest) + "gwyn" (white),[5] with the "a" in "bar" showing i-affection as a result of the "y" in "gwyn", therefore changing from "a" to "e"; the word also shows soft mutation of the letter "g" (which is deleted under soft mutation).


Bala, Gwynedd to Welshpool
Name of Peak OS coordinates Geographical coordinates
Allt y Gader SJ149176 52.749°N, 3.262°W
Allt y Main SJ162151 52.727°N, 3.242°W
Bryn Du SJ145360 52.914°N, 3.272°W
Bryn Gwyn SJ042295 52.854°N, 3.424°W
Bryn-llus SJ085408 52.956°N, 3.363°W
Cadair Berwyn SJ071323 52.880°N, 3.381°W
Cadair Berwyn (N top) SJ072327 52.883°N, 3.380°W
Cadair Bronwen SJ077346 52.900°N, 3.373°W
Cadair Bronwen (NE top) SJ087352 52.906°N, 3.358°W
Carnedd Das Eithin SJ051238 52.803°N, 3.409°W
Cefn Coch SH923266 52.826°N, 3.599°W
Cefn Gwyntog SH976265 52.826°N, 3.521°W
Cefn Gwyntog (N top) SH975274 52.834°N, 3.522°W
Cerrig Coediog SJ113386 52.937°N, 3.321°W
Craig Berwyn SJ077335 52.891°N, 3.373°W
Craig Rhiwarth SJ054271 52.833°N, 3.405°W
Croes y Forwyn SJ029210 52.777°N, 3.440°W
Cyrniau SJ062251 52.815°N, 3.393°W
Cyrniau Nod SH988279 52.839°N, 3.503°W
Cyrniau y Llyn SJ000244 52.807°N, 3.484°W
Ffordd Gefn (Bryn Gwyn) SJ033240 52.804°N, 3.435°W
Foel Cwm Siân Llwyd SH995313 52.869°N, 3.494°W
Foel Dugoed SH893131 52.704°N, 3.639°W
Foel Figenau SH916284 52.842°N, 3.610°W
Foel Goch (Berwyn) SH943290 52.848°N, 3.570°W
Foel Tyn-y-fron SH918257 52.817°N, 3.606°W
Foel Wen SJ099333 52.889°N, 3.340°W
Foel Wen (S peak) SJ102330 52.886°N, 3.336°W
Foel y Geifr SH937275 52.834°N, 3.579°W
Gallt y Goedhwch SJ137159 52.733°N, 3.279°W
Glan Hafon SJ080272 52.834°N, 3.367°W
Godor SJ094307 52.866°N, 3.347°W
Godor (N top) SJ089311 52.869°N, 3.354°W
Gyrn Moelfre SJ184293 52.854°N, 3.213°W
Jericho Hill SJ162202 52.772°N, 3.243°W
Llanymynech Hill SJ263221 52.791°N, 3.094°W
Lledwyn Mawr SH905287 52.844°N, 3.627°W
Moel Bentyrch SJ055095 52.674°N, 3.399°W
Moel Cae-howel SH978330 52.884°N, 3.520°W
Moel Fferna SJ116397 52.947°N, 3.317°W
Moel Hen-fache SJ109281 52.843°N, 3.324°W
Moel Poethion SJ082306 52.865°N, 3.365°W
Moel Sych SJ066318 52.875°N, 3.389°W
Moel y Fronllwyd SJ121176 52.748°N, 3.303°W
Moel y Gwelltyn SJ170277 52.840°N, 3.233°W
Moel yr Ewig SJ080317 52.874°N, 3.368°W
Moel yr Henfaes SJ077385 52.935°N, 3.374°W
Moel yr Henfaes (Pen Bwlch Llandrillo peak) SJ089369 52.921°N, 3.356°W
Moel yr Henfaes (W peak) SJ099374 52.926°N, 3.341°W
Mynydd Feifod SJ169400 52.950°N, 3.238°W
Mynydd Mawr SJ132286 52.847°N, 3.290°W
Mynydd Mynyllod SJ002395 52.943°N, 3.486°W
Mynydd Tarw SJ112324 52.881°N, 3.321°W
Mynydd y Bryn SJ217268 52.833°N, 3.163°W
Mynydd y Glyn SJ153222 52.790°N, 3.257°W
Mynydd-y-briw SJ174260 52.825°N, 3.227°W
Pen y Berth SJ081127 52.704°N, 3.361°W
Pen y Boncyn Trefeilw SH962283 52.842°N, 3.542°W
Pen y Cerrig Duon SH953281 52.840°N, 3.555°W
Pen-y-coed SJ226414 52.964°N, 3.153°W
Post Gwyn SJ048293 52.852°N, 3.415°W
Rhialgwm SJ055211 52.779°N, 3.402°W
Rhiwaedog-uwch-afon SH938313 52.868°N, 3.579°W
Rhos SJ125323 52.881°N, 3.301°W
Rhwng y Ddwynant SH978248 52.811°N, 3.517°W
Stac Rhos SH969279 52.838°N, 3.532°W
Tir Rhiwiog SH929162 52.732°N, 3.587°W
Tomle SJ085335 52.891°N, 3.361°W
Trum y Gwrgedd SH941284 52.842°N, 3.573°W
Y Golfa SJ182070 52.654°N, 3.210°W
Y Groes Fagl SH988290 52.848°N, 3.504°W
Yr Allt SJ242102 52.684°N, 3.122°W


  1. ^ Roberts, Andy (2001). "The Berwyn Mountain UFO Crash – A British Roswell?". Flying Saucery Presents ... The Real UFO Project. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Berwyn". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  3. ^ Countryside Council for Wales. "Berwyn". Retrieved 16 March 2014.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ T. Gwynn Jones, Welsh Folklore and Folk-Custom (1930; new edition 1979). Several other place names in the area also include the element 'Gwyn'.
  5. ^ D. Geraint Lewis, Y Llyfr Enwau – Enwau'r Wlad: A check-list of Welsh Place Names (2007).

52°55′16″N 3°25′26″W / 52.92111°N 3.42389°W / 52.92111; -3.42389