History of Beddgelert
Prince Llewelyn Hotel
The Prince Llewelyn Hotel is a regency hotel which was built mid 1830's as part of a speculative development of the village on this side of the river by the Sygun estate on its Perthi Farm property. It has a long complex history and stands beneath a rocky outcrop.
This development, to which the earliest of the C19 buildings in the village belong, was intended to serve the increasing numbers of tourists who were coming to Snowdonia in the second quarter of the century. The Hotel replaced a series of houses recorded on this site in the late C18 under the collective name of Pen-y-Bont. A coffee room and some bedrooms were added to the hotel in the 1860s.
The license was first granted to John Roberts, who was called "John Roberts y Mail" because he drove the mail car between Beddgelert and Caernarfon. t is said that the staff of the hotel included an ostler, who looked after guests’ horses.
In 1923 Sir T. E Roberts sold the hotel, the stables and garages in Gwynant street for £2,250 to Mr William Brown. In 1941, his widow sold the hotel to Mr Hill for £3000. In 1945 Mr Hill sold to Fredric Robinson Ltd, Unicorn Brewery for £5000. The hotel gained it's Grade 2 listing status on 29 April 1952.
The site of the Prince Llewelyn Hotel has since been owned by Robinsons brewery and has only been sold six times since 1537!
It was on 21 September 1949 that the Prince Llewelyn Hotel was hit by a meteorite.
Around 1.45am a guest at the Prince Llewelyn heard a series of dull explosions, until it
was suddenly replaced by the sound of shattering roof slates.
The next morning, the hotel managers wife found a jagged hole in the ceiling, with
plaster and a dark-coloured stone about the size of a cricket ball on the floor. It
measured about 9cm x 7cm and weighed 794g.
A plaster cast of the meteorite was taken and the rock was then cut open for analysis and classified as olivine-bronzite chondrite.The Beddgelert meteorite is only the second ever known to hit Wales - the other fell at Pontllyfni, near Caernarfon, in 1931.
Both the Beddgelert and Pontllyfni meteorites were cut up and the pieces distributed to museums, universities and research institutes. Parts of the rock reside in the National Museum Cardiff.
Legend of Gelert
Gelert is a legendary wolfhound associated with the village Beddgelert. This is translated to 'Gelerts Grave'. In the legend, Llewelyn the Great returns from hunting to find his baby missing, the cradle overturned, and Gelert with a blood-smeared mouth. Believing the dog had savaged the child, Llywelyn draws his sword and kills Gelert. After the dog's dying yelp, Llywelyn hears the cries of the baby, unharmed under the cradle, along with a dead wolf which had attacked the child and been killed by Gelert. Llywelyn became overcome with remorse and buries the dog with great ceremony, but can still hear its dying yelp. It was said, after that day, Llywelyn never smiles again.
It is now accepted that our village took its name from an early saint named Kilart or Celert, rather than from the dog. The "grave" mound is ascribed to David Prichard, landlord of the Goat Hotel in Beddgelert in the late eighteenth century, who connected the legend to the village to encourage tourism.
On the supposed grave of Gelert there are two slate memorials, one in Welsh and the other in English.