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Cnicht from west.jpg
Cnicht from the south-west
Highest point
Elevation 689 m (2,260 ft)
Prominence 104 m (341 ft)
Listing HuMP, Hewitt, Nuttall
Translation knight (Old English)
Pronunciation /ˈknɪxt/
Location Gwynedd, Wales
Parent 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", albeit being 3,789 metres lower. In reality Cnicht is a long ridge and, at 689 m, is the fifth-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.

in fiction[edit]

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.


Media related to Cnicht at Wikimedia Commons

  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