Category Archives: Dorset

County of Dorset West Country England UK

Dumnonia and Dumnonii the Kingdom and People

Dumnonia and Dumnonii the Kingdom and People

Where was Dumnonia? When did it exist? Who were the people and leaders of it’s Peoples?

The Kingdom existed between the 4th and 8th centuries, and the name comes from a celtic tribal people, possibly a group of tribes which predated the Roman Invasion. There is littel documentary evidence of the Dumnonii’s history but archaeological and monumental evidence indicates that their kingdom had rich and diverse contacts with Wales.

  • It is believed that the Dumnonii submitted to roman rule in the early stages of their British invasion when Aulus Plautius was governor for the Romans.
  • c. 75 Exeter already the Legionary Fortress  was also transformed into capital of the Civitas ( basic unit of local government across the Roman Empire. There were about 15 such units in Britain.)
  • During the reign of King Ine of Wessex, the next Kingdom to the West was Dumnonia, a name taken from the people who inhabited the modern counties of Devon, Cornwall, and the western parts of Somerset and Dorset in the pre-roman period known as the Dumnonii.
  • It lost it’s unity in two stages, when King Ine of Wessex incorporated Devon into Wessex and Cornwall was incorporated during King Egbert’s reign after the Battle of Hingston Down.. This was a battle that took place in 838 when Egbert defeated an alliance that had been formed between the Cornish and the Vikings. It was this defeat that  completed the subjugation of the western region to Wessex.

Dumnonia