Cantref

Pre-medieval

The cantref is an early Welsh administrative district, roughly similar in function to the English 'hundred'. The term is made up of two parts. Can or cant comes from the term for a hundred. Second is 'tref' a much less distinct term which might mean a house, settlement, or even a town. Thus the compound term 'cantref' generally meant the smallest type of settlement.

In Welsh history the cantref was made up of a number of commotes (cymydau), though cantrefi (the plural of cantref in Welsh) was the original division and the commote a later subdivision. Most cantrefi were divided into several commotes, usually 2 or 3, but as many as 7 for the largest.

Each cantref traditionally had its own court, and the boundaries between cantrefs often coincided with areas of distinct Welsh dialects, or even kingdoms. The court was usually administered by thew most powerful landowners within each cantref. The legal function of cantrefs was later taken over by commotes.

Time period(s): Saxon Medieval

Tags: cantref   commote  

Latest History articles

Llewelyn ap Gruffudd
Dafydd ap Gruffudd
Commote
Brut y Tywysogyon
Treaty of Aberconwy




English Heritage

English Heritage membership

English Heritage membership

Free entry to English Heritage properties throughout England, plus discounted admission to Historic Scotland and Cadw properties in Scotland and Wales.

Membership details

About English Heritage


HISTORY CORNER
Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



The 'Auld Alliance' was between which two countries?



26 May, 1676

Fire of Southwark

Ten years after the devastating Great Fire of London, this blaze sweeps along the south bank of the Thames, burning 625 houses

She was proclaimed queen on 9 July, 1553



Passionate about British Heritage!