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Call for Snowdon to only be known by Welsh name Yr Wyddfa

Motion to call Snowdon and Snowdonia by Welsh names brought forward by Gwynedd councillor

Kate Ng
Friday 30 April 2021 00:57 BST

Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) is considering calling Wales’ highest and most famous mountain by only its Welsh name.

It comes after a Gwynedd county councillor brought forward a motion asking the park authorities to refer to the 3,560ft (1,085m) mountain Snowdon as Yr Wyddfa and Snowdonia as Eyri.

According to the BBC, the park authority said the motion was not discussed at a meeting on Wednesday as a task group set up to adapt guidelines on the use of Welsh place names would consider the proposal.

The motion was brought forward by Councillor John Pughe Roberts and states: “That the authority hereafter uses only the authority’s Welsh name for the authority and that this becomes relevant in any language ie ‘Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri’ and never uses ‘Snowdonia National Park’ again.

“The same should apply to ‘Yr Wyddfa’ - never to use the name ‘Snowdon’ for it again.”

The Welsh name for the mountain is pronounced ‘er with-va’ and means grave.

Mr Roberts, who represents Corris and Mawddwy, added: “Members of the authority complain about people coming here and changing house names to English ones.

“I say we should lead by example. I’m proud of being a Welshman and it’s my first language so I say we should respect it.

“If you go to France or Italy or any other country they respect their language and we should do the same.”

SNPA chairman Wyn Ellis Jones said: “Authority members decided that there was no need to consider the motion today as a Welsh place names task and finish group has already been appointed.

“This follows previous consideration by the members in a working group which recommended to establish and adopt guidelines to guide the use of place names by the SNPA.

“The authority is committed to protect and promote the use of native place names for everyday use and future generations,” he added.

The origin of the name comes from the legend that the giant Rhita Gawr, king of Wales, was buried under a cairn of stones on the summit of the country’s highest mountain after a battle with King Arthur.

It is said that he defeated 30 kings from Britain and took their beards to create a cloak of beards that reached from his shoulder to the floor.

It is thought that the English names for Snowdon and Snowdonia are derived from the Saxon ‘snow dune’, meaning snow hill.

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