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]
- 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
- Some people think that King
Arthur was a member of the Dumnonian Royal family.
- The most famous Kings of
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
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.