EBK Activity Sheets


British Kingdom in Mid Wales

Click the Map to see Powys' place in Britain
  • Powys covers most of Mid-Eastern Wales. The name is pronounced 'Pow-iss'. It developed from the name 'Pagenses' which means '[Land of] the Country People'.
  • Powys used to cover Shropshire and North Herefordshire in England too.
  • When the Romans left Britain, the Romano-British in Powys carried on living their lives as normal. Archaeologists have found lots of evidence for this at the old Roman town of Viroconium (Wroxeter in Shropshire).
  • There was a big wooden palace built there, like a great hall. It is thought that Vortigern lived in it when he was the local king. Later, he made himself High-King of All Britain.
  • Later still, the country was invaded by the Irish, but they were thrown out by King Cadell and St. Germanus.
  • Vortigern's descendants continued to be Kings of Powys. They abandoned the towns and lived in hillforts and then rural wooden palaces. They ruled there until 1269. Thatís over 800 years!
  • The English then took over, but the heir to the Powys throne made himself Prince of all Wales in 1404. His name was Owain Glyndwr. He ruled for 5 years before the English threw him out. Then he disappeared!
  • The Kings of Powys lived mostly at Mathrafel. Their Royal monastery was at nearby Meifod.
  • Apart from Vortigern and Cadell, the most famous Kings of Powys were:
    • Cynan Garwyn - He lived in the late 6th century. He employed the famous bard, Taliesin, who wrote lots of poems about his great battles against the Saxons and the other British kingdoms. He was friends with St. Beuno & St. Tysilio (his brother).
    • Rhodri the Great - He lived in the Mid-9th century. He ruled Gwynedd and Seisyllwg (Ceredigion) as well. He fought against the Vikings and drove them out of Wales.


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