Mount Snowdon is to officially be renamed after thousands sign a petition to change it
Officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move "as a mark of respect for our cultural heritage".
Mount Snowdon is to officially be renamed after thousands of people signed a petition to have it changed.
Snowdonia National Park Authority has confirmed that Wales’ tallest mountain – which stands at an imposing 3,560ft at its highest point – is to now be known by its official Welsh language title, rather than by the English name it has been known as for much of its existence.
The peak will now be known as Yr Wyddfa, which is said to be pronounced like ‘er with-va’.
While the English name ‘Snowdon’ comes from the Old English ‘snaw dun’ meaning “snow hill”, the mountain’s new Welsh name ‘Yr Wyddfa’ means ‘the tumulus’ or ‘the barrow’ – which, according to Arthurian legend, could refer to the cairn which was said to have been thrown over the legendary giant Rhitta Gawr after his defeat by King Arthur.
It’s not only the famous peak that’s got itself a new name either, as the whole of Snowdonia is to be renamed as Eryri National Park too.
The confirmation of the new names comes after a motion to ditch the English versions in official usage was put forward by Gwynedd Councillor John Pughe Roberts in April 2021 and a petition urging the National Park to formalise this suggestion was signed by an impressive 5,000 people.
And so, on Wednesday 16 November, officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move to Welsh names “as a mark of respect for our cultural heritage”.
Speaking on the historic day, Naomi Jones – Head of Cultural Heritage at the Snowdonia National Park Authority – said: “Many public bodies across Wales have moved to use both the Welsh and English names, or the Welsh name only, when referring to Yr Wyddfa and Eryri, as have many of the mainstream English-language press and filming companies.
“This is very encouraging, and gives us confidence that this change in the Authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage.
“We have historic names in both languages, but we are eager to consider the message we wish to convey about place names, and the role they have to play in our current cultural heritage by promoting the Welsh language as one of the National Park’s special qualities.
“By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture.”
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Despite the changes, the National Park will still be legally obliged to use both the Welsh and English names in official documentation.
Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons