On Carnedd Uchaf or Gwenllian, looking towards Carnedd Llewlyn. Photo: erwlas CC-BY-2.0

On Carnedd Uchaf or Gwenllian, looking towards Carnedd Llewlyn. Photo: erwlas [CC-2.0]

A Welsh peak will join a family circle this weekend, following a concerted campaign to have it renamed.

The 3,000-footer currently called either Carnedd Uchaf or Garnedd Uchaf, depending on your view of soft mutation, will become officially Carnedd Gwenllian, in honour of Wales’s ‘lost princess’. The Ordnance Survey, Britain’s national cartographic agency, says its maps will be changed to reflect the change.

The peak, a 926m (3,038ft) rise between Foel-fras and Foel Grach, will join a royal group of mountains when it is rechristened this Saturday, 26 September.

Gwenllian was the daughter of Llywelyn, the last prince of Wales. Born in he was 1282, the year her father was killed, she was snatched from her home and held at the abbey at Sempringham, Lincolnshire, living the rest of her life there as a nun and dying at the age of 54.

With the death of her father Llewelyn ap Gruffydd in battle and Princess Gwenllian locked away Edward I was able to take over the principality, the princess’ mother having died in childbirth.

Carnedd Gwenllian will join other carneddau in the royal circle: Carnedd Llewelyn, named after her father and lying less than 3km (2 miles) to the south, and Carnedd Dafydd, which bears the name of the princess’ uncle, whom Edward I had hanged, drawn and quartered. The mountain bearing Dafydd’s name lies a further 3km away, and Yr Elen, named after Gwenllian’s mother, completes the family group of peaks.

The renaming is the culmination of a campaign by the Princess Gwenllian Society, but is not without controversy, many walkers arguing against arbitrary changes in mountain names. In 2005, Margaret Fernleigh from Talybont told the BBC said opposed the change. “I feel strongly about changing these old names. I hate it when they do it to houses in the area too,” she said.

“In my opinion these names have a connection with the area they’re in, and the way people used to live in those areas. Carnedd Uchaf has been used for generations, and I see no point in changing that.”

Carnedd Uchaf means highest cairn in Welsh, even though it is surrounded by higher peaks.

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

Spokesman Paul Beauchamp 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.”

The renaming ceremony will be carried out by heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones AM, Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, Lord Nantconwy, presiding officer of the Welsh Assembly, at Beaumaris.

The soon-to-be-launched grough route system will have automatic updates on its mapping of all Ordnance Survey revisions.

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