A legacy of Celtic Yorkshire
Within the church at Llanaelhaearn, near Caernarfon, set into a wall in the north transept, can be seen the Aliortus Stone. Unearthed in a nearby field, known as Gardd-y-Saint (the Garden of the Saints), the stone is thought to date from the late 5th to early 6th centuries. Inscribed in Latin, it reads ‘ALIORTUS ELMETIACO HIC IACIT’, which translates as ‘Aliortus of Elmet lies here’.
The land of Elmet may have been an independent Celtic kingdom, part of the ‘old north’ (Hen Ogledd) of Britain. This kingdom may have been centred around the present-day city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, extending south towards the city of Sheffield. The site locations are guesswork, but more certain are the close ties between the ‘Welsh’ of northern Britain and those in Gwynedd.
For a while, the kingdom of Elmet organised a powerful counter-attack against the encroaching English. It was eventually overrun by the Northumbrian Saxons under their king Edwin around the 620s.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Buggy Access
- Wheelchair Access
Village located near where B4419 joins the A499
Bangor - 21 miles, Pwllheli - 9 miles
Bus stop in village centre
Off road Cyclepath alongside A499
Wheelchair access possible to inscribed stone in churchyard along footpath to the church.
Full Grid Reference Number: SH 387448
OS Landranger map sheet: 123
- Aliortus Stone, Llanaelhaearn