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  • Julie Muller

DINAS DINLLE (LL54 5TW ) - Glaciers and myths

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

Dinas Dinlle is a tiny seaside resort on the North Welsh coast. When Julie was a young girl, she used to come here every summer holiday and I don’t think that it has changed much since then.

The day that Bruno and I visited it was a warm sunny day in early August. The car park was full of cars and people were milling about on the promenade, sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the sea but it wasn’t overcrowded.

When we arrived, we made a beeline for the hill overlooking the settlement so that our humans could have their picnic. Laden with bags full of supplies we all trudged to the top to find ourselves face to face with the locals - sheep employed by the National Trust to keep the grass short. In 800 BC an Iron Age Hill Fort occupied this place and, as both Roman coins and pottery have been found, it looks like the Romans lived here too. It is hardly surprising that people have chosen to live here as it has such far reaching in views in all directions.

As our humans sat and ate their picnic, the North Welsh mountains formed a dramatic backdrop behind us, whilst distant fields bustled with activity. Both man and machine seemed busily engaged in all the stages of making hay while the sun shines. Below us the sea glistened in the bright sunshine.

We sat as close to our humans as possible hoping to catch a crumb or two but, bored with waiting, I lay on my back, rolled, and slid down the ramparts. It felt good. Bruno just watched. He was more interested in the food.

Over the years, some of this Iron Age Fort has been lost because the sea has eroded the base of the cliff and carried the sediment away. However, these natural processes are important to keep the cliff face clear because they show the sequence of rock sediments left behind when the ice moved back, then forward and finally retreated as part of the so-called Trevor Advance (during the oldest glacial episode of the last Ice age).

This is the reason why this place is given protection as a Site of Special Scientific interest.

The humans finished their lunch, and we went for a wander along the ramparts playing dodgems with the sheep. Bruno and I had to stay on our leads so as not to disturb them, but the sheep really took no notice of us. Several families were walking around the hilltop too and young children squealed excitedly as they charged up and down the ramparts. I would like to have been free too – ho hum!!

We trotted down the hill and headed for the dog friendly section of the beach.

It is strange to think that years ago, Julie had run down this very hill to catch the wind to fly her kite, completely ignorant of how special the hill was. Even the significance of the place name was lost on her. Dinas actually means hill fort in old welsh and the suffix lle refers to a hero in welsh mythology called LLeu LLaw Gryffes . This hero is a principal character in

an ancient book called the Mabinogian which, written in the eleventh century, is one of the earliest pieces of British literature and tells epic tales of magicians, magic, murder, and mayhem.

Two sheep dogs relax on the hill fort at Dinas Dinlle, Gwynedd, Wales. sheep in background and Snowdonia in distance
Bruno and Shep relax on the Hill Fort at Dinas Dinlle

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