EBK Activity Sheets


British Kingdom in South-West England

Click the Map to see Dumnonia's place in Britain
  • Dumnonia covered most of South-West England (Cornwall, Devon & Somerset). The name survives today as 'Devon'. This is the Saxon version of the Brythonic word. It developed from the name of the British tribe who lived there from before the Romans arrived. They were called the 'Dumnonii'. The name means 'Worshippers of [the Celtic God called] Dumnonos'.
  • A sub-tribe (smaller group) lived in the far west of Dumnonia. They were called the 'Cornovii'. This name survives as 'Cornwall'.
  • A powerful Romano-British family from the area became the local Kings of Dumnonia. They probably mostly lived at South Cadbury Castle (in Somerset) and Tintagel Castle (in Cornwall). Their Royal monastery was at Bodmin (in Cornwall), and possibly also at Glastonbury in Somerset
  • Some people think that King Arthur was a member of the Dumnonian Royal family.
  • The most famous Kings of Dumnonia were:
    • Conan Meriadoc - He lived in the late 4th century. He was a cousin of the Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus and an important general in his army. Legend says he was also King of Brittany and lots of Dumnonians went to live there.
    • Constantine Sant - He lived in the mid-6th century. Legend says he was a Knight of the Round Table and became High-King of Britain after King Arthur. He was friends with St. Petroc and retired to a monastery.
  • From the mid-7th century, the Saxon Kings of Wessex began to take over parts of Dumnonia. There were many battles. By the late 9th century, all of Dumnonia was part of Wessex.
  • The people of Cornwall continued to speak their own Brythonic language, called 'Cornish', until Victorian times. Some Cornish people still don't think of themselves as properly English. They even have their own flag.


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