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Monday, 30 June 2014

Welsh legend Monday - The story of Gelert

The Aberglaslyn Pass
http://www.beddgelerttourism.com/
http://www.beddgelerttourism.com/
In the heart of Snowdownia, a short walk from the village of Beddgelert, (Gelert's Grave)  two stones mark a single, small grave, one at the head and one at the feet.
According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of 'Gelert', the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. The story, as written on each tombstone, one in English and one in Welsh, reads:

"In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent.

On Llewelyn's return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound's side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog's dying yell was answered by a child's cry.

Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here".

Isn't that sad?  I suppose the moral is never act in haste, or jump to hasty conclusions. It makes me sad to think the loyal hound's bravery was rewarded by death at the hands of his beloved master, but he gained immortality as his story has been handed down through generations.

4 comments:

  1. That is very sad. Really enjoy learning about your legends and culture. Beautiful photos. Have a great day(night time for me).
    Sue B

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  2. I'd heard this legend before, but didn't realize there was truth to it. Very sad, yet good for the baby that the dog remained near. Beautiful photos.

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    1. Hello Caroline, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Actually I'm not sure how much truth there is to the story really. I think the engraved stones were put there in recent times for tourists, but the original stones are much older. I rather hope it is just a legend, as it is so sad.

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  3. I've walked down to that grave, Lyn - it is a sad story and as you say, we shouldn't jump to conclusions so hastily.

    By the way, are you going to the RNA conference - hoping we get to meet at last!

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