Coordinates: 51°33′36″N 3°24′32″W / 51.560°N 3.409°W / 51.560; -3.409 Penychen was a possible minor kingdom of early medieval Wales and later a cantref of the Kingdom of Morgannwg. Penychen was one of three cantrefs that made up the kingdom of Glywysing lying between the rivers Taff and Thaw, the other two being Gwynllwg and Gorfynydd. The cantrefi were created on the death of Glywys (c.480 AD), the first king of Glywysing, when the kingdom was divided between three of his sons, Pawl, Gwynllyw and Mechwyn. Pawl was the ruler of Penychen and on his death (c.540 AD) passed the cantref onto his nephew.

Pawl's brother Gwynllyw was the ruler of Gwynllwg and upon his death the cantref passed to his son Cadoc (Cadwg), also known as St. Cadoc. Cadoc would later take control of Penychen, but when he was killed by the Saxons he had no heirs and the both cantrefi fell under the control of Meureg of Gwent and both were absorbed into his kingdom.


Penychen lay between Senghenydd and Gwrinydd in South Wales,[1] it contained the areas which today are the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff, the majority of the Vale of Glamorgan and the west of Cardiff.


  1. The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg668 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6

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