Post-classical history

The Western Kingdom: The Birth of Cornwall

The Western Kingdom: The Birth of Cornwall

In the fifth century, the Roman Empire collapsed and Western Europe began remaking itself in the turmoil that followed. In south-west Britain, old tribal authorities and identities reasserted themselves and a ruling elite led a vibrant and outward-looking kingdom with trade networks that stretched around the Atlantic coast of Europe and abroad into the Mediterranean. They and their descendants would forge their new kingdom into an identity and a culture that lasts into the modern age.

The Western Kingdom is the story of Cornwall, and of how its unique language, culture and heritage survived even after politically merging with England in the tenth century. It’s a tale of warfare, trade and survival – and defiance in the face of defeat.


Part I: Setting the Scene: Post-Roman Britain and the Western Kingdom

Chapter 1. Ruin and Conquest? Challenging Traditional Narratives

Chapter 2. Dumnonia: Expansionist and Wealthy

Chapter 3. Wessex: Finding a Place in the Heptarchy

Chapter 4. An Introduction to Early Medieval Warfare

Part II: Conflict and Adaptation: Cornwall and Wessex

Chapter 5. The Arrival of Wessex

Chapter 6. King Geraint, Llongborth and the Battle that Saved Cornwall

Chapter 7. The Wars Ending: Ecgberht and the Final Clashes

Chapter 8. The Vikings in Cornwall: The Cornish–Norse Relationship and Hingston Down

Chapter 9. Ruled but not Conquered: Adaptation and Survival of the Cornish Identity

Chapter 10. Athelstan and Cornwall

Part III: Surviving and Thriving: Cornish Identity and Language post-1066

Chapter 11. The Norman Conquest in Cornwall: Friends in High Places?

Chapter 12. Cornwall and the Bretons

Chapter 13. The End of the Conquest Period


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