The Welsh Kingdoms descended from the Celtic Britons who occupied much of the island of Britain from the Iron Age, into and beyond its Romanisation in the First Century.
Not long after the Romans departed, the lands would come to be dominated by Anglo-Saxons who had arrived from northern Europe. Ironically, the term ‘Welsh’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon term for foreigner, ‘wealas’, which they applied to the native Britons. The Anglo-Saxons flourished and many of the old Brittonic kingdoms began to disappear.
The Britons who inhabited the Welsh peninsula were able to hold ground against attacks from the Anglo Saxons, Gaels and numerous bands of Vikings. These kingdoms were among the last bastion of Romano-British culture but there was a shift towards a more militaristic way of life in order to survive against these persistent invaders.
Britons also still occupied what is now southern Scotland. Here, the kingdom of Strat Clut, known as the Strathclyde Welsh to the Anglo-Saxons, defended their realm under constant pressure from Picts and Vikings.