Snowdonia Peak to Be Renamed after Gwenllian, the Lost Princess of Wales; in Life Condemned to a Convent, Now Free to Join Father Prince Llywelyn

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 24, 2009 | Go to article overview

Snowdonia Peak to Be Renamed after Gwenllian, the Lost Princess of Wales; in Life Condemned to a Convent, Now Free to Join Father Prince Llywelyn


Byline: Sally Williams

FOR decades, there has been a name missing from the peaks of a mountain range in the heart of Snowdonia.

But the lost Princess of Wales will finally have her name added to those of her family nearly 700 years after her death.

Princess Gwenllian, daughter of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last leader of a united Wales, is to have a mountain in the Carneddau range officially renamed in her memory this weekend.

As a mark of respect to her standing in Celtic history, Carnedd Uchaf, as the peak is currently named, will be known as Carnedd Gwenllian, with the change marked on Ordnance Survey maps.

The move will reunite Gwenllian with her father, uncle and mother, after whom other mountains in the area are named.

Carnedd Llywelyn commemorates Gwenllian's father and Yr Elen is named after her mother, Eleanor.

Her uncle, who was hanged, drawn and quartered by the order of Edward I - who took control of Wales after Llywelyn's death - is remembered with the peak, Carnedd Dafydd.

The renaming of Carnedd Gwenllian is the result of a long campaign by the Princess Gwenllian Society, founded to keep her memory alive.

"Edward ordered Gwenllian, a one-year-old baby, to be imprisoned in an English convent so that she would not have children who might restore Welsh independence," said a society spokesman. "And she remained there until her death 53 years later."

While Ordnance Survey does not have the authority to alter place names itself, it has agreed to put Gwenllian on the map, following consultation with parties including the Snowdonia National Park Authority, the National Trust, local authorities and emergency services.

Paul Beauchamp, of the Ordnance Survey, said: "Any changes to the map need to be carefully considered because they are relied on by the emergency services and mountain rescue teams to help find stranded climbers.

"As agreement has been reached, we are delighted to reflect the name change and to be playing a role in reuniting Princess Gwenllian with her father, mother and uncle among the mountain peaks of her homeland.

Changes to place names are actually very rare but there are two recent instances.

"The first was in 2004 when we reflected the change in name of a Scottish peak from Heatherstone Law to Hudderstone at the request of the land owner. …

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Snowdonia Peak to Be Renamed after Gwenllian, the Lost Princess of Wales; in Life Condemned to a Convent, Now Free to Join Father Prince Llywelyn
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