Kingdom of Gwent

Kingdom of Gwent

Gwent was one of the kingdoms or principalities of mediæval Wales, in the Welsh Marches.


The area has been occupied since the Paleolithic, with Mesolithic finds at Goldcliff and growing activity during the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman period.

The Dark Age Welsh kingdom of Gwent was traditionally the area between the rivers Usk, Wye and the Severn Estuary. It came into being after the Romans had left Britain and Roman Wales, and was a successor state drawing on the culture of the pre-Roman Silures tribe and ultimately their Iron Age territories. It took its name from the "civitas" capital of Venta Silurum, meaning "Market of the Silures". In the post Roman period, the territory around Venta became the small successor kingdom of Guenta, later Gwent, deriving its name directly from the town through the normal sound change in the Brythonic languages from "v" to "gu". The town itself became Caerwent, "Venta fort". [ South East Wales in the Early Medieval Period] ]

Early history

According to one Old Welsh genealogy, the semi-legendary founder of the kingdom was Caradoc Vreichfras. A later monarch was King Tewdrig who was mortally wounded repelling a Saxon invasion. Some believe his grandson, Athrwys ap Meurig, may be the origin for King Arthur.

The centre of the kingdom may have been at Caerwent or Caerleon. The latter had formerly served as a major Roman military base. Welsh saints like Dubricius, Tatheus and Cadoc Christianized the area.

Norman partition

The Normans partitioned the area into the Lordships of Abergavenny, Monmouth, Striguil (Chepstow) and Usk, where they built and fortified large permanent stone castles from a network of early motte and bailey castles. The density of castles of this type and age is amongst the highest in Britain and certainly the rest of the Welsh Marches with at least 25 castle sites remaining in Monmouthshire alone today.

The castles protected new settlements and enabled older settlements to prosper under Norman rule despite the subjugation, taxation, conflicts and rebellions that affected this part of south east Wales over the centuries.

The Lordships, overseen by powerful Marcher Lords, were the basic units of administration for the next 450 or so years, until Henry VIII passed the Laws in Wales Act 1535. This Act abolished the Marcher Lordships and established the County of Monmouthshire out of them — combining the Lordships of Newport, (Gwynllwg) or Wentloog and Caerleon [] east of the River Usk and Abergavenny, Monmouth, Usk and Chepstow to the west of it.

Recent times

In the 19th and 20th centuries, writers began using the name 'Gwent' in a romantic literary way to describe Monmouthshire, and in the local government re-organisations of 1974/5, many new administrative areas in Britain were named after medieval kingdoms — such as Cumbria, Strathclyde and within Wales: 'Gwent', Dyfed, and Gwynedd.


External links

* [ Early Gwent history and rulers from]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gwent — may refer to:*Kingdom of Gwent *County of Gwent …   Wikipedia

  • Gwent (county) — Coordinates: 51°47′20″N 3°01′05″W / 51.789°N 3.018°W / 51.789; 3.018 …   Wikipedia

  • Kingdom of Dyfed — Teyrnas Dyfed ← …   Wikipedia

  • Gwent Police — Infobox Law enforcement agency agencyname = Gwent Police nativename = Heddlu Gwent badge = Gwentpolice.gif imagesize = 192 formedyear = 1967 preceding2 = mapcaption = Gwent Police area within Wales sizearea = 1,554 km² sizepopulation = 556,600… …   Wikipedia

  • Kingdom of Gwynedd — Infobox Former Country native name = Teyrnas Gwynedd conventional long name = Kingdom of GwyneddRef|1 common name = Gwynedd |continent = Europe region = British Isles country = Wales era = Middle Ages government type = Monarchy |event start =… …   Wikipedia

  • List of postcode districts in the United Kingdom — This is a list of postcode districts in the United Kingdom. A group of postcode districts with the same alphabetical prefix is called a postcode area. All, or part, of one or more postcode districts are grouped into post towns.[1] Contents 1 List …   Wikipedia

  • Blaenau Gwent by-elections, 2006 — Two by elections were held for the constituency of Blaenau Gwent in Wales following the death of Member of Parliament and Assembly Member Peter Law on 25 April 2006. As Law was the MP and Assembly Member (AM), his death required by elections in… …   Wikipedia

  • Blaenau Gwent (UK Parliament constituency) — UK constituency infobox alt Name = Blaenau Gwent Type = County Entity = Wales DivisionType = Preserved county Division = Gwent Year = 1983 MP = Dai Davies Party = Independent EP = WalesBlaenau Gwent is a constituency represented in the House of… …   Wikipedia

  • Cwm, Blaenau Gwent — Coordinates: 51°44′27″N 3°10′52″W / 51.7409°N 3.1812°W / 51.7409; 3.1812 …   Wikipedia

  • United Kingdom general election records — UK general election records is an annotated list of notable records from United Kingdom general elections.Prior to 1945, electoral competition in the United Kingdom exhibited features which make meaningful comparisons with modern results… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.