Snowdonia and Mount Snowdon

The Snowdonia mountain range of North Wales (Welsh--Eryri); the highest mountain is Mount Snowdon, in Welsh Yr Wyddfa, or, "the burial place," usually of Rhitta Gawr. The entire area, down to the coast, is now a national park.

Historically, the area is home to Carnarvon (originally the Roman fort of Segontium), Harlech (built by Edward I, but with earlier associations with Bendigedfran). There are two well-known peaks, Yr Wyddfa and Cader Idris, and the Isle of Anglesey is near-by.

Mt. Snowdon itself is associated with Dinas Emrys, the site where Lludd buried the warring dragons, and where Vortigern later released them at the advice of Emrys Myrddin. Another legend suggests it's the burial place of Rhitta Gawr. Elsewhere, there's a little-known tradition that Arthur died here at Bwlch y Saetheau, and that his grave is a nearby cairn. The Snowdonian area is also the traditional home of Peredur. Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising makes quite a bit of use from Snowdonia.

Finally, the area is also home to Portmeirion, best known as the ominous "Village" on the classic Brit existentialist sci-fi spy series The Prisoner.


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Mary Jones 2004