About 4 miles south of Snowdon, the claimed grave of Gelert can be seen, just below the precipitous side of Cerrig Llan.

This legend was known at the time George Borrow visited Beddgelert in 1854. He wrote many stories under the title Wild Wales

The poet W. R. Spencer wrote a poem about Gelert in 1811. Joseph Haydn, the composer, set the poem to music.

Gelert

Bronze Statue of GelertMany a dog's courage, steadfastness, trust and loyalty to man has been proven. However, an ancient Welsh saga raised the question about man's reciprocation of those qualities.

As part of a large dowry on his wedding to a daughter of the English King, so the saga tells us, Welsh prince Llewelyn ap Iorwerth received a wolfhound named Gelert. The dog proved to be leader among the Prince's hunting dogs. He was also a gentle and friendly animal and was appointed a personal guard dog by the family.

One day having to leave his new baby son in the castle while he was away hunting, the Prince ordered Gelert to stand guard on the baby's sleeping chamber. Returning later that day, the Prince entered his child's chamber to find a scene of horror. The cradle seemed empty except for blood stained blankets, in fact there was blood everywhere! At the head of the cradle stood Gelert, he too was covered in blood, dripping from his jaws!

The Prince immediately assumed the dog had turned killer and in a rage drew his sword and plunged it into Gelerts' body. As Gelert fell mortally wounded the Prince heard a cry from beneath the blood soaked blankets. Throwing them aside he saw his smiling son, alive and unharmed. As he leaned over to pick up his son, he saw behind the cradle, lying against the wall was a large wolf with its throat torn out...dead!

Clearly there had been a fierce struggle between the dog and the wolf. Suddenly the Prince realised the enormity of his rash deed in condemning Gelert...for surely it was Gelert who had killed the attacking wolf. Rushing to the aid of the stricken dog he was too late, with a last lick of the Prince's hand Gelert died of his sword wound. The prince was haunted by his lack of trust, for the rest of his life.

Gelert was buried with full honours at Beddgelert (The Grave of Gelert) in Wales.


Greyfriars Bobby website is owned and maintained by Bobby's Bothy - All items are copyrighted and must not be used without permission - Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 12:34:08