Brochfael Ysgythrog ap Cyngen, Brenin Powys

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Brochfael Ysgythrog ap Cyngen, Brenin Powys

Also Known As: "Brochwel "of the Tusks" / "the Fanged""
Birthplace: Powys, Wales
Death: Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Cyngen Glodrydd, King of Powys and Tudglid verch Brychan, Saint
Husband of Arddyn the Wing Headed
Father of Mawn ap Brochfael; Cynan Garwyn ap Brochfael, Brenin Powys; Tysilio Ap Brochfael, Saint; Enghenel . verch Brochfael, Saint and Iago ap Brochfael
Brother of Sanan verch Cyngen; Ieuaf . ap Cyngen; Maig Myngfras ap Cyngen; Mawn ap Cyngen and Cadell ap Cyngen

Occupation: Saint, Prince
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Brochfael Ysgythrog ap Cyngen, Brenin Powys

Mentioned on page of this book 319

See Peter Bartrum, (February 6, 2023; Anne Brannen, curator)

See Peter Bartrum, (February 5, 2023; Anne Brannen, curator)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam of Ystrad Alun;; [#51] (Steven Ferry, November 24, 2017.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Powys - Vortigern and the Powys Dynasty; (Steven Ferry, October 12, 2019.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Powys - Nest ferch Cadell ap Brochwel; (Steven Ferry, October 13, 2019.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Powys - Powys Succession after 823; (Steven Ferry, October 15, 2019.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Powys - End of the Powys Dynasty; (Steven Ferry, October 18, 2019.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Composite Lives of St Beuno; (Steven Ferry, February 19, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Shropshire Walcot Family- Chart III: First Powys Dynasty; (Steven Ferry, May 17, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth; (Steven Ferry, July 17, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott; The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn; (Steven Ferry, July 23, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Three Men Called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd": (Steven Ferry, September 6, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Harleian Ms 3859; (Steven Ferry, March 9, 2021.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Foundations of 'The Men of the North' - Part 2; (Steven Ferry, July 9, 2021.)


Brochwel ap Cyngen (died c. 560), better known as Brochwel Ysgrithrog, was a king of Powys in Eastern Wales. The unusual nickname Ysgithrog has been translated as ‘of the canine teeth’, ‘the fanged’ or ‘of the tusk’ (perhaps because of big teeth, horns on a helmet or, most likely, his aggressive manner).


Brochwel was the son of King Cyngen Glodrydd and his wife St. Tudlwystl, a daughter of Brychan ap Gwyngwen ap Tewdr. As far as is known Brochwel married Arddyn Benasgel, sometimes written Arddun Penasgell (Wing Headed), daughter of King Pabo Post Prydain. They were the parents of King Cynan Garwyn and Saint Tysilio, the founder of the old church at Meifod.

Poetry and tradition

Powys has been frequently called "the land of Brochwel", but little is recorded of the events of this monarch's reign. Some details are available from Old Welsh poetry, but this is difficult to interpret, and none of the extant poems about this period seem to pre-date the 9th century. Some are from as late as the 11th century. Brochwel is presented as a warrior hero and ruler of wide lands. These sources suggest that he was passionately fond of hunting, and one of his chief resorts was the Vale of Meifod which he made his "May-Abode" or summer residence. On his summer visits to Mathrafal, he often visited the shrine of St. Gwyddfarch. Upon his saintly son, St Tysilio, he bestowed the Bishopric of that part of his kingdom. St Tysilio and Brochwel are linked with the foundation of the Church at Meifod, but none of the stones of the current Church of St. Mary date from this period.

The traditional arms of Brochwel Ysgithrog.

The arms later assigned by the College of Arms to Brochwel, and that can be used by his male heirs, are ‘Sable, three nags' heads, erased argent’ which may represent three beheaded Saxon white horses. Many later tribes and family lines in the area claim descent from Brochwel and include his arms within theirs. Most of the genealogies of these families were first documented by the heralds in the 16th century when the view taken of Brochwel can be illustrated by the following quotation (which is mainly judged to be false by contemporary historians):

"Brochwel Yscithroc, Consul of Chester, who dwelt in a town then called Pengwerne Powys, and now Shrewsbury (Salopia), whose dwelling house was in the verie same place where the college of St Chad's now standeth." - Dr Powel's Historie of Cambrie (1584 edition)

Pengwern was certainly a Welsh kingdom or Royal residence which appears to have been located somewhere in Shropshire. It is unclear whether it was ruled by Brochwel. However there does seem to have been a tradition that he was buried in St. Chad’s College in Shrewsbury which he is said to have founded. Alternatively, some believe that Brochwel was buried at Pentrefoelas in Gwynedd where the grave has been uncovered of a six foot man, with a covering slab bearing the name ‘Brohomagli’.

False Brochwel

According to Bede (Bk II, Ch 2), a 'Brochmail' was also one of the defending force when the monks of Bangor-on-Dee were slain by Æthelfrith of Northumbria at the Battle of Chester in circa 613. The account of the battle in the Welsh Chronicles is consistent with Bede, but since it was written after his work the author was probably aware of it. However, this man is clearly not Brochwel as his grandson, Selyf ap Cynan was King of Powys at this time and described as dying in the battle. References to the subject as 'Brochfael' are probably due to a mistaken identification with the person referred to by Bede.

ID: I157936

Name: Brochwel "Ysgithrog" ap CYNGEN

Given Name: Brochwel "Ysgithrog" ap

Surname: Cyngen

Sex: M

Change Date: 13 MAY 2009




!Medieval: Achau Brehinoedd a Thywysogion Cymru; Bonedd Y Cymru; Royal Tribes

of Wales; Eminent Welshmen; History of Wales, Lloyd; History of Brecknock;

(Birth 540, Prince of Wales);


Birth: ABT 463 in , Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

LDS Baptism: 15 DEC 1994 Temple: LOGAN

Endowment: 10 JAN 1995 Temple: LOGAN

Sealing Child: 10 MAR 1995 Temple: LOGAN

Reference Number: > 269 WEL

Death: Y

Father: Cyngen "Glodrydd" ap CADELL b: ABT 440 in , Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

Mother: Tudglid ferch BRYCHAN b: ABT 450 in Brycheiniog, Breconshire, Wales, United Kingdom

Marriage 1 Arddun "Benasgell" ferch PABO b: ABT 467 in , Pennines, Britain

Married: ABT 487

Sealing Spouse: 10 JAN 1995 in LOGAN


Tysilio ap BROCHWEL b: ABT 494 in , Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

Cynan "Garwyn" Ap BROCHWEL b: ABT 540 in Powys, Montgomeryshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Mawn ap BROCHWEL b: ABT 498 in , Powys, Wales, United Kingdom
Iago ap BROCHWEL b: ABT 506 in , Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

Abbrev: Pedigree Resource File CD 6

Title: Pedigree Resource File CD 6 (Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 1999)serve, Inc., 1999)serve, Inc., 1999).


Brochwel Ysgithrog, the king of Powys married Pabo’s daughter Arddun. A p oem in the Book of Taliesin says that Taliesin was at the king’s court.

           I sang before a famous lord, in the meadows of the Severn,

Before Brochuael Powys,
Brochwell and Arddun’s son Tysilio founded churches in various parts of Wales including one on a tiny island in the Menai, on the opposite shore to Bangor.