History Files
 

 

Celtic Kingdoms of the British Isles

Celts of Cymru

 

 

 

Map Ceredigion

Founded in circa AD 424, this small coastal kingdom was centred on the Bay of Cardigan. According to tradition, Ceredigion was originally part of the territory governed by the Pictish Gododdin chief, Cunedda, after he was invited by Magnus Maximus to settle in north-west Wales. Cunedda granted the land to Ceretic as his own kingdom, and it was named after him. The earliest form of the kingdom's name may have been Ceretica.

FeatureThe kingdom may at first have included the Roman cantref of Rhos, although this later became a sub-kingdom of Gwynedd in its own right.

(Additional information by Edward Dawson, and from The Landscape of King Arthur, Geoffrey Ashe.)

c.424 - c.453

Ceretic / Corotic / Ceredig

Fifth son of Cunedda Wledig.

The name Ceretic or its various versions means 'beloved of Dagda', Dagda being Dag, the solar god who is cognate with English 'day', plus 'da', meaning 'good' - 'good Dag', in the same way that Christians might say 'blessed lord'.

Corun ap Ceredig

Son. Apparently predeceased his father.

In Ceretic's later years, when the kingdom is under threat of attack by Irish raiders, he is advised to abdicate in favour of his young grandson, Carantocus, but the saintly Carantocus is horrified at such a prospect and flees the court to live as a hermit at Edilu. Becoming the learned St Carannog, he is mentioned in connection with Arthur and a certain Cado who is probably Cado, king of Dumnonia in the early sixth century.

Carantocus / St Carannog ap Corun

Son. Fled the court to become St Carannog.

c.453 - c.490

Usai ap Ceredig

Son of Ceretic.

c.490 - c.525

Serwyl ap Usai

c.525 - c.560

Boddw ap Serwyl

c.560 - c.595

Arthfoddw ap Boddw

c.595 - c.630

Arthlwys ap Arthwfoddw

c.630 - c.665

Clydog ap Arthlwys

c.665 - c.700

Seisyll ap Clydog

Seisyll conquers Ystrad Towy, taking it from Dyfed. The kingdom of Ceredigion, thus enlarged by a third, is renamed the kingdom of Seisyllwg in his honour.

Map Seisyllwg

Seisyllwg consisted of the former Kingdom of Ceredigion together with the newly conquered territory of Ystrad Towy.

(Additional information by Hywel George.)

c.700 - c.735

Arthwyr ap Seisyll

c.735 - c.770

Dyfnwal ap Arthwyr

c.770 - c.807

Meurig ap Dyfnwal / Morydd

by 800

The kingdoms of Builth and Gwerthrynion are taken directly within Seisyllwg.

807?

Arthen

(Annales Cambriae).

c.808 - 872

Gwgan ap Meurig

Son of Meurig. Drowned and left no heir.

c.810

Angharad ferch Meurig

Sister. m Rhodri Mawr, King of Gwynedd & Powys.

872 - 873

Gwgan is drowned while crossing the River Llychwr in Gower whilst chasing off a Viking raid. The kingdom passes to his brother-in-law, Rhodri Mawr, after he quickly marries into the bereaved family. Rhodri is now king of much of north and central Wales. From this point onwards, Seisyllwg is ruled by a branch of the kings of Gwynedd as a sub-kingdom. In 873, Rhodri's son, Cadell, is placed in command of Ceredigion and the palace at Dinefwr.

873 - 909

Cadell ap Rhodri

'King of South Wales'.

878

Upon the death of Rhodri Mawr, and according to his wishes, Wales is officially divided between his sons. Anarawd succeeds him in Deheubarth, Merfyn in Powys, and Cadell is confirmed in Seisyllwg.

904

Cadell ap Rhodri and his son, Hywel Dda, conquer Dyfed and Hywel is granted control of the kingdom

909 - 920

Clydog ap Cadell

Son. No heir. Mentioned in the Annales Cambriae.

920

Drawn into full union with Dyfed under Cadell's second son, Hywel Dda, creating the kingdom of Deheubarth.

950

The death of Hywel Dda, king of all Wales, leaves the country divided. Hywel's sons, Owain, Rhun, Rhodri and Edwyn, take possession of his estates in South Wales, with Rhodi becoming king of Deheubarth itself and Owain becoming prince of Ceredigion.

950 - 957

Owain ap Hywel Dda

Prince of Ceredigion.

952 - 953

As part of the ongoing conflict between Deheubarth and Gwynedd, Owain leads an army into the North Wales kingdom and engages its men at the Battle of Aberconwy. The fighting is so fierce that both sides are forced to withdraw, having sustained heavy losses. The following year, Gwynedd repays the compliment, invading and devastating Ceredigion and being driven out by more fierce fighting.

957

Owain succeeds to the throne of Deheubarth and Ceredigion is fully reunited with it under him as its single ruler.

by 1100

Ceredigion is now regarded as a duchy of Gwynedd, and is ruled in the king's name by his sons.

? - 1143

Cadwaladr

Ruled the North. Brother of Owain Gwynedd.

before 1143 - ?

Hywel ap Owain Gwynedd

Ruled the South. Son of Owain Gwynedd. Gained North in 1143.