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Gwenddoleu,
King of Caer-Wenddoleu
(c.520-573)

(Welsh-Gwenddoleu, Latin-Ventolovus, English-Wendoley)

Gwenddoleu was an historical personage of the late 5th century, well-remembered in ancient Welsh poetry. He was a son of Prince Ceidio, a younger brother of King Eliffer Gosgorddfawr of Ebrauc (York). His uncle may have been the aggressor in a dynastic struggle which expelled Gwenddoleu and his father from York; for the former is found having carved a small kingdom for himself out of the borderlands between North Rheged and Strathclyde. W.F. Skene identified his capital as modern Carwinley, alias Caer-Wenddoleu, about ten miles north of Carlisle.

It seems unlikely that Gwenddoleu was a welcome addition to the monarchical landscape of what is now Southern Scotland. Possible as a defensive measure, he allied himself to Prince (later King) Aedan mac Gabhran of Scottish Dalriada. However, this only served to destable his position within the overlordship of the latter's enemy, King Riderch Hael of Strathclyde. Riderch entered into negotiations with Gwenddoleu's cousins, Kings Peredur and Gwrgi of Ebrauc (York) - sons of his old opponent, Eliffer Gosgorddfawr - and, when a dispute over the township of Caer-Laverock arose in AD 573, armies from the four nations clashed at Arderydd (Arthuret). Gwenddoleu brought some 2,100 men to the battle, but the combined might of Strathclyde and Ebrauc were ultimately victorious. Gwneddoleu was killed and his kingdom wiped from the map.

  

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