Kingdom of Powys

Kingdom of Powys

Teyrnas Powys
5th century–1160
Flag of Powys
Banner of the Mathrafal House of Powys
of Powys
Coat of arms
Anthem: Unbennaeth Prydain
"The Monarchy of Britain"[1][2][3]
Medieval kingdoms of Wales
Medieval kingdoms of Wales
CapitalCaer Guricon, Pengwern, Mathrafal, Welshpool, Chester
Common languagesWelsh
Celtic Christianity
• 6th century
Brochwel Ysgithrog
• d. 616
Selyf ap Cynan
• d. 755
Elisedd ap Gwylog
• 1063–1075
Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
• 1116–1132
Maredudd ap Bleddyn
• 1132–1160
Madog ap Maredudd
Historical eraMiddle Ages
5th century
• Division (Between Fadog and Wenwynwyn)
Currencyceiniog cyfreith &
ceiniog cwta
Preceded by
Succeeded by
sub-Roman Britain
Powys Wenwynwyn
Powys Fadog
Demonym: Powyssi; Powysian
Powys landscape near Foel

The Kingdom of Powys was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain. It very roughly covered the top two thirds of the modern county of Powys and part of today's English West Midlands (see map). More precisely, and based on the Romano-British tribal lands of the Ordovices in the west and the Cornovii in the east, its boundaries originally extended from the Cambrian Mountains in the west to include the modern West Midlands region of England in the east. The fertile river valleys of the Severn and Tern are found here, and this region is referred to in later Welsh literature as "the Paradise of Powys".


The name Powys is thought to derive from Latin pagus 'the countryside' and pagenses 'dwellers in the countryside', also the origins of French "pays" and English "peasant". During the Roman Empire, this region was organised into a Roman province, with the capital at Viroconium Cornoviorum (modern Wroxeter), the fourth-largest Roman city in Britain. An entry in the Annales Cambriae concerning the death of King Cadell ap Brochfael says that the land later called Powys was originally known as Teyrnllwg.[4]

Coat of arms of the Powys dynasty