Created By: Tammy Rea
Artist: Mary Anne Barkhouse
About: Gelert is a hamlet in Haliburton County named after the town of Beddgelert in Snowdonia in north of Wales. The name literally translates into the ‘grave of Gelert”. The legend has it that Gelert was the faithful Irish wolfhound of Prince Llywelyn, the last prince of free Wales over 800 years ago.
The Legend of Gelert. In the 13th century, Llywelyn, prince of North Wales, had a faithful wolfhound named Gelert that went everywhere with him. One day he went hunting without Gelert, leaving him to guard over his infant son. On Llywelyn's return, the dog ran out to greet his master, but Llywelyn saw that Gelert was stained and smeared with blood. The prince was alarmed and ran into his hunting lodge to look for his son. He found the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the dog's side thinking that Gelert had killed his son. The dog's dying cry was answered by a child's cry. Llywelyn searched the lodge and found his child unharmed. Nearby lay the body of a large wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince, filled with remorse is said to never have smiled again. He buried Gelert under a cairn of stones. If you go to Beddgelert in Wales you can visit what is claimed to be the grave of Gelert.
This story is similar to one found in many cultures of an animal who has been faithful to humans but as soon as something went wrong the animal was suspected of ‘going wild’. There is a story from India with a mongoose and a snake, from Germany with a dog and a bear.
With our sculpture of Gelert Mary Anne has re-envisioned the end of the story; renewing our faith in Gelert. He is now standing for eternity guarding over the children who play in Glebe Field.
Diana Ferguson donated part of the funds for this sculpture in memory of her husband the late Alan Ferguson, former Dysart councillor who loved art and was devoted to his dogs.
Materials: Bronze with patina.
This point of interest is part of the tour: DysART Trail