Today Dinas Dinlle is best known for its beach, but c.3,000 years ago it was the site of a major hill fort. Part of the hill has been lost, thanks to thousands of years of sea erosion. The remainder can be seen and visited at the south end of the beach. It is in the care of the National Trust.
“Dinas” means settlement. “Dinlle” is thought to mean the fort of Lleu.
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Legend has it that Lleu Llaw Gyffes was raised in the hillfort. Tales of his heroism are to be found in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales written down from c.1100 to the mid-14th century. The tales relate to much earlier periods in history, and were transmitted orally before being recorded in writing.
Perhaps the most famous tale involving Lleu Llaw Gyffes is that of Blodeuwedd. In it, Lleu is tricked into revealing how he can be killed. On his assasination, he turns into an eagle. Later he is turned back to human form and rules Gwynedd.
Local folklore also celebrates the unusual wrecking here of “Chwadan Bill Parry” (Bill Parry’s Duck). Bill Parry, an evangelist preacher in Caernarfon, intended to emigrate to Australia in a military amphibious vehicle (a large boat with road wheels), one of many built in the USA during the Second World War for the D-Day landings. This type of vehicle was classed as DUKW, popularly known as “duck”. The Rev Parry had twice got as far as France, and his third attempt ended with the vessel’s demise on a sandbank at Dinas Dinlle in 1971. He abandoned his hopes of emigration and later had a sex change.
Postcode: LL54 5TW View Location Map
Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
Newborough Warren – 79 passengers died when ferry capsized during argument over fare in 1664
Bangor Pier – see photos of wooden battleship which ran aground near here in 1953
Abersoch lifeboat station – medal for rescuing crew from wreck of ship which had sailed from New Orleans