Beddgelert - Encyclopedia

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BEDDGELERT (" Gelert's grave"), a village in Carnarvonshire, North Wales, at the foot of Snowdon. The tradition of Gelert, Llewelyn's hound, being buried there is old in Wales; and common to it and India is the legend of a dog (or ichneumon) saving a child from a beast of prey (or reptile), and being killed by the child's father under the delusion that the animal had slain the infant. The English poet, W. R. Spencer, has versified the tale of Llewelyn, king of Wales, leaving Gelert and the baby prince at home, returning to find Gelert stained with,the blood of a wolf, and killing the hound because he thought his child was slain. Sir W. Jones, the Welsh philologist and linguist, gives the Indian equivalent (Lord Teignmouth's Life of Jones, ed. Rev. S. C. Wilkes, editor's supplement). A Brahmin, leaving home, left his daughter in charge of an ichneumon, which he had long cherished. A black snake came up and was killed by the ichneumon, mistakenly killed, in its turn, by the Brahmin on his coming back. Another version is the medieval romance in The Seven Wise Masters of In the edition printed by Wynkyn de Worde it is told by "the first master" - a knight had one son, a greyhound and a falcon; the knight went to a tourney, a snake attacked the son, the falcon roused the hound, which killed the serpent, lay down by the cradle, and was killed by the knight, who discovered his error, like Llewelyn, and similarly repented (Villon Society, British Museum reprint, by Gomme and Wheatley).

On the west of Beddgelert is Moel Hebog (Bare-hill of the falcon), a hiding-place of Owen Glendower. Here, in 1784, was found a brass Roman shield. Near is the famous Aberglaslyn Pass, dividing Carnarvon and Merioneth. In the centre is Cadair Rhys Goch o'r Eryri, a rock named as the chair of Rhys Goch, a bard contemporary with Glendower (died traditionally, 1420). Not far hence passed the Roman road from Uriconium to Segontium (see Carnarvon).

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