Dolgellau, United Kingdom

Travel to Dolgellau

Dolgellau (Welsh: [dɔlˈɡɛɬaɨ] (listen)) is a town and community in Gwynedd, north-west Wales, lying on the River Wnion, a tributary of the River Mawddach. It was the traditional county town of the historic county of Merionethshire (Welsh: Meirionnydd, Sir Feirionnydd) until the county of Gwynedd was created in 1974. Dolgellau is the main base for climbers of Cadair Idris and Mynydd Moel which are visible from the town. Dolgellau is the second largest settlement in southern Gwynedd after Tywyn and includes the community of Penmaenpool.

The name of the town is of uncertain origin, although dôl is Welsh for "meadow" or "dale", and (y) gelli (soft mutation of celli) means "grove" or "spinney", and is common locally in names for farms in sheltered nooks. This would seem to be the most likely derivation, giving the translation "Grove Meadow". It has also been suggested that the name could derive from the word cell, meaning "cell", translating therefore as "Meadow of [monks'] cells", but this seems less likely considering the history of the name. The Encyclopædia Britannica in 1911 suggested the name means 'Dale of Hazels'.

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