The fort of the bear
Bryn Euryn, rising 365 feet (150 metres) above the town of Colwyn Bay and dominating the ancient Welsh kingdom of Rhos, may have been the site of a fortified settlement since the Iron Age. Excavations have revealed that this stronghold was one of many that were re-fortified in the post-Roman period, the legendary age of Arthur.
The original hill fort incorporated natural sheer cliffs to the south and east, while a banked rampart was raised around the north and west sides. In the 5th century a smaller fortification was built inside the original defences. With formidable walls at least 10 feet (3 metres) high, faced with quarried limestone around a rubble-filled rampart 12 feet (3.5 metres) thick, it bears all the hallmarks of having been the stronghold of an important figure in early Welsh history. In fact, it is now believed that this was the home of Cuneglasus, otherwise known as Cynlas the Red, King of Rhos, whom the 6th-century writer Gildas calls ‘the bear’. Bryn Euryn lies in the medieval township of Dineirth, which translates as ‘Bear's Fort’.
In the early 13th century Bryn Euryn is thought to have been the site of the castle of Ednyfed Fychan, chief adviser to prince Llewelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great). However, this castle has never been positively identified. A ruined medieval manor house on the hill is that of Robin, son of Gruffyd Goch, dating to the mid-15th century.
Today Bryn Euryn is a protected Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of Cadw.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Info Point
Signposted from Rhos on Sea near church. Follow signs to carpark.
Colwyn Bay - 2 miles
Llandudno Road, Rhos on Sea
20-minute walk along footpath
Footpaths lead to summit from car park. Path can be muddy.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 832798
OS Landranger map sheet: 116
- Bryn Euryn, Rhos on Sea, LL28 4TU