In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Beddgelert like this:
BEDDGELERT, or Bethgelert, a village in the district of Festiniog and county of Carnarvon, and a parish partly also in Merioneth. The village stands at the confluence of the Colwyn and the Gwynnant rivers, near Aberglaslyn pass, 6 miles S of the summit of Snowdon, and 12 SE of Carnarvon; and is connected by railway, near completion in 1869, with the Cambrian at Port-Madoc. It nestles in a deep romantic vale, engirt by lofty mountains, amidst the grandest scenery in Wales; presents very strong attractions to tourists, artists, and anglers; was anciently noted as a resting-place of pilgrims; and has a post office‡ under Carnarvon, large excellent hotel, comfortable lodging-houses, a parish church and two dissenting chapels. ...
The church is early English; measures 80 feet by 30; and belonged originally to an Augustinian priory. The priory is thought by some to have been older than Owen Gwynedd, who began to reign in 1137; by others, to have been founded by Llewelyn the Great. A romantic tradition asserts that Llewelyn founded it to commemorate the preservation of an infant child in its cradle from an intruding wolf, the animal being killed there by a watchful hound, and the hound itself killed immediately after through mistake by the master; and this tradition is the subject of the late Hon. W. R. Spencer's ballad of "Prince Llewelyn and his Greyhound Gelert;" but it probably was borrowed from some one of similar old stories current in England, in Ireland, in France, in Persia, and in other countries. Fairs are held at the village on 10 April, 10 Aug., 21 and 27 Sept., and 13 Oct.The parish includes the hamlet of Llwynllinon, the lordship of Nanthnynant, and the hamlet of Nantmor; and the two former contain the village of Beddgelert. Acres, 26,716. Rated property, £2,187. Pop., 1,375. Houses, 275. The property is subdivided. Titaninm and copper ores are found. Moel-Hebog mountain, overhanging the village on the W, has a recess which was a hiding-place of Owen Glendower; and yielded up from a bog, in 1784, a very curious brass Roman shield. Some pretty cascades occur on the Colwyn, a few hundred yards from the village; and the pass to the S, noticed in our article Aberglaslyn, teams with interest. The principal scene of Southey's poem of "Madoc" is laid in the parish. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bangor. Value, £189. Patron, John Priestley, Esq.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Beddgelert has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Gwynedd. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Beddgelert and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Beddgelert, in Gwynedd and Caernarvonshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 27th November 2014
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