Arenig Fawr

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Arenig Fawr
Arenig Fawr w.JPG
Arenig Fawr from the A4212 to Ffestiniog.
Highest point
Elevation 854 m (2,802 ft)
Prominence 479 m (1,572 ft)
Parent peak Moel Siabod
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall
Coordinates 52°55′03″N3°44′46″W / 52.91757°N 3.74601°W / 52.91757; -3.74601 Coordinates: 52°55′03″N3°44′46″W / 52.91757°N 3.74601°W / 52.91757; -3.74601
English translationGreat High Ground
Language of name Welsh
PronunciationWelsh:  [aˈrɛnɪɡ ˈvaur]
Location Gwynedd, Wales
Parent range Snowdonia
OS grid SH827370
Topo map OS Landranger 124

Arenig Fawr (English: Great High Ground) is a mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales, close to Llyn Celyn reservoir, alongside the A4212 between Trawsfynydd and Bala.



Arenig Fawr is the highest member of the Arenig range, with Arenig Fach (English: Small High Ground), a smaller neighbouring mountain, lying to the north. It is surrounded by Moel Llyfnant to the west, Rhobell Fawr to the south and Mynydd Nodol to the east.


The easy-to-moderate climb to the summit takes about 2½ hours from Llyn Celyn. There are no readily identifiable footpaths but the route is marked by an old wire boundary fence. Beneath the mountain is Llyn Arenig Fawr, a reservoir providing drinking water to Bala and the surrounding villages.

The summit, which is also known as Moel yr Eglwys (English: Bare hill of the church), has a trig point and a memorial to eight American aircrew who died when their Flying Fortress bomber B-17F #42-3124 crashed on 4 August 1943. Some of the crash wreckage is still scattered across the hillside 300 m (330 yds) from the memorial location.

From the summit, with good weather conditions, it is possible to see several notable Welsh mountain ranges: the Rhinogs in the west, Snowdon to the northwest, the Clwydian Hills in the northeast, east to the Berwyns, south east to the Arans, and southward to Cadair Idris. It is one of the finest panoramas in Wales. In exceptional conditions the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, the Blackpool Tower, summits of the Peak District above Manchester, the Lake District, and the Brecon Beacons can also be seen. The furthest peaks visible in perfect conditions are Cross Fell and Great Dun Fell in the far east of Cumbria, Slieve Muck, Slieve Binnian and Slieve Meelbeg in the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland, and Blackstairs Mountain on the County Carlow/County Wexford border in the Republic of Ireland.


Arenig Halt was a request stop on the Bala Ffestiniog Line. It closed to passenger services on 2 January 1960 and freight services on 27 January 1961. The remains of the station buildings have been cleared away leaving no trace. [1] [2] [3]

Listed summits of Arenig Fawr
NameGrid refHeightStatus
Arenig Fawr South Top 836 m (2,743 ft) Nuttall
Arenig Fawr South Ridge Top 712 m (2,336 ft) Nuttall

Art and literature

Artists James Dickson Innes and Augustus John used the mountain as a backdrop during their two years of painting in the Arenig valley between 1911 and 1912. In 2011 their work was the subject of a BBC documentary entitled The Mountain That Had to Be Painted. [4]

In The Faerie Queene , an incomplete English epic poem by Sir Edmund Spenser, the home of 'old Timon', Prince Arthur's sage foster-father, "is low in a valley greene, Under the foot of Rauran mossy hore". [5] Welsh historian Sir John Edward Lloyd wrote that Rauran "comes from Saxton's map of Merionethshire (1578), which places ‘Rarau uaure Hill’ (Yr Aran Fawr) where Arenig should be". [6]

A boulder at a crossroads in the hamlet of Bell Heath, near Belbroughton, Worcestershire, in England, has a brass plaque attached to it stating "Boulder from Arenig Mountain in N. Wales, Brought here by the Welsh Ice-sheet in the Glacial Period". [7]

Related Research Articles

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Moel Siabod Mountain in Snowdonia, Wales

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Moel Hebog

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Llyn Celyn Reservoir in the United Kingdom

Llyn Celyn[ɬɨ̞n ˈkɛlɨ̞n] is a large reservoir constructed between 1960 and 1965 in the valley of the River Tryweryn in Gwynedd, Wales. It measures roughly 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long by 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, and has a maximum depth of 140 ft (43 m). It has the capacity to hold 71,200,000 cubic metres (93,100,000 cu yd) of water.

Moel Ysgyfarnogod

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Mynydd Mawr

Mynydd Mawr is a mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales, situated approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) west of Snowdon itself, overlooking Llyn Cwellyn and being the northern outlier of the Moel Hebog group. A popular ascent starts from Rhyd Ddu. On its western flank are the remains of ancient settlements and field systems. The profile of Mynydd Mawr from the north is often thought to resemble an elephant lying down, and consequently the mountain is often colloquially also called "Yr Eliffant", or "Elephant Mountain" by non-Welsh speakers.

Aran Benllyn

Aran Benllyn is a subsidiary summit of Aran Fawddwy in southern Snowdonia, North Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. It is the second highest peak in the Aran mountain range.

Y Foel Goch

Y Foel Goch is a mountain in Snowdonia, north-west Wales, and is a sister peak along with Gallt yr Ogof to Glyder Fach. Between Glyder Fach and its summit lies Llyn Caseg-fraith, a popular lake for photographing Tryfan and its reflection.

Carnedd y Filiast (Cerrigydrudion)

Carnedd y Filiast is a mountain near Cerrigydrudion on the border of the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales and is 669 metres (2,195 ft) high.

Arenig Fach

Arenig Fach is a mountain in southern Snowdonia, north Wales. It is a peak in the Arenig range and lies to the north of its parent peak Arenig Fawr.

Moel Llyfnant

Moel Llyfnant is a mountain in the southern portion of the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, Wales. It is a peak in the Arenig mountain range. It lies to the west of Arenig Fawr. It has one notable top, the twin peaked Gallt y Daren, being at the end of its west ridge.

Foel Goch (Arenigs)

Foel Goch is a mountain in north-east Wales, and forms part of the Arenig mountain range. It is the only member of the Arenig group that lies outside of the Snowdonia National Park.

Carnedd Llechwedd-llyfn

Carnedd Llechwedd-llyfn is a subsidiary summit of Carnedd y Filiast on the border of Snowdonia National Park in Llandderfel, in Gwynedd. The northern slopes of the peak lie in Ysbyty Ifan, in Conwy. It is part of the Arenig mountain range, and rises from the shore of Llyn Celyn.

Moel Emoel

Moel Emoel is a hill within the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, North Wales.

Mynydd Nodol

Mynydd Nodol is a 539m high hill in Snowdonia National Park and lying within the community of Llanycil in the county of Gwynedd in North Wales. It rises above the southern shores of the reservoir Llyn Celyn about 4 km northeast of its higher neighbour Arenig Fawr. Mynydd Nodol forms the backdrop in views from the A4212 car park by the dam. The hill throws down a broad shoulder to the east.

Moel y Garnedd

Moel y Garnedd is a hill within the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, North Wales.

Pen Ty-Nant

Pen Ty-Nant is a hill within the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, North Wales.


  1. Marsh, Terry (1984). The Summits of Snowdonia. London: Robert Hale.
  2. Marsh, Terry (1985). The Mountains of Wales. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  3. Nuttall, John & Anne (1999). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (2nd edition ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN   1-85284-304-7.
  4. "The Mountain that had to be Painted". BBC Four. 18 May 2011.
  5. Spenser, Edmund (1882). The Faerie Queene: Book I.Canto IX. Grosart, London.
  6. Lloyd, Sir John Edward (1911). A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. p.  69 (Volume 1).
  7. "Belbroughton and Fairfield Parish Council" . Retrieved 20 February 2017.