Kingdom of Glywysing
Teyrnas Glywysing
5th century–942
Capital Cardiff
Languages Old Welsh
Religion Celtic Christianity
Government Monarchy
Historical era Middle Ages
   After Roman withdrawal from Britain 5th century
  First union with Gwent 942–974
   Second union with Gwent 1063
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Roman Britain
Kingdom of Morgannwg
Teyrnas Morgannwg
Capital Various[1]
Languages Welsh
Government Monarchy
   942–974 Morgan Hen ab Owain
  1063–1074 Cadwgan ap Meurig
  1081–1091 Iestyn ap Gwrgan
Historical era Middle Ages
   First union of Gwent and Glywysing 942
  Union disestablished 974
  Kingdoms reunited 1063
(by the Norman lord, Robert Fitzhamon)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Gwent
Kingdom of Glywysing
Kingdom of Gwent
Kingdom of Glywysing
Lord of Glamorgan

Glywysing was, from the sub-Roman period to the Early Middle Ages, a petty kingdom in south-east Wales. Its people were descended from the Iron Age tribe of the Silures.


Glywysing is said to be named after Glywys, a real or legendary early monarch, whose name may continue that of the Romano-British *Glevenses, the territory and citizens of Glevum (modern Gloucester).[2] According to 12th-century sources, after the death of Glywys, the kingdom was divided into seven cantrefs named for his sons:[3] Cydweli, Gwyr, Margam, Penychen, Gwynllwg, Gorfynydd, and another. These were typically ruled together by the head of the family and sometimes treated as appenage subkingdoms.


The borders changed over time, but it is generally thought that its lands originally lay between the Afon Llwyd and the River Towy. At times they expanded eastwards to encompass both Gwent and Ergyng, but some time before the early 8th century, Cydweli and Gwyr (Gower) were lost to Dyfed. Today the area of Glywysing is known as Glamorgan.


In the mid 10th century, the kingdom merged with Gwent and changed its name to Morgannwg or Gwlad Morgan in honour of King Morgan the Old (r. 94274) or his ancestor King Morgan the Generous (fl. c.730).[4] Glywysing seems to have been a sub-kingdom or principality of the Kingdom of Morgannwg, along with Gwent. After the death of Morgan the Old, Gwent and Glywysing were separated again from 974 to 1055, but Glywysing alone was often referred to as Morgannwg. Both areas were conquered by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in about 1055, but on his death in 1063, Morgannwg, the union between Gwent and Glywysing, was reconstituted. How this occurred is unclear; possibly the Kings of Glywysing were also Kings of Morgannwg and the Kings of Gwent were semi-independent under-Kings. The last native ruler of these areas was Iestyn ap Gwrgan, King of Morgannwg (1081-1090), who was deposed by Robert Fitzhamon.

See also


  1. The three cantrefs composing Glywysing were based at Allt Wynllyw on Stow Hill (modern Newport); Nant Pawl; and Llaniltud Fawr. These were sometimes independent and sometimes controlled one another. Cf. The History Files: "Celtic Kingdoms of the British Isles: Cernyw / Glywyssing" (Accessed 14 Feb 2013).
  2. Koch, John T. Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia ABC-CLIO Ltd (15 Mar 2006) ISBN 978-1-85109-440-0 p.1312
  3. Carver, Martin The cross goes north: processes of conversion in northern Europe, AD 300-1300 Boydell Press; New edition (26 Jan 2006) ISBN 978-1-84383-125-9 p.125
  4. Lloyd, John E. A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest, Vol. 1, p. 274. Longmans, Green, & Co. (London), 1911. Accessed 22 Feb 2013.

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