Kingdom of Strathclyde

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Strathclyde (Scottish Gaelic: Srath Chluaidh) (lit. "Valley of the Clyde"), originally Brythonic Ystrad Clud was one of the kingdoms of the Britons in the Hen Ogledd, the Brythonic-speaking parts of what is now Northern England and southern Scotland, through the post-Roman period and the Middle Ages. It is also known as Alt Clut, the Brythonic name for Dumbarton Rock, the medieval capital of the region. It may have had its origins with the Damnonii people of Ptolemy's Geographia.

The language of Strathclyde, and that of the Britons in surrounding areas under non-native rulership is known as Cumbric, a dialect or language closely related to Old Welsh. Place-name and archaeological evidence points to some settlement by Norse or Norse-Gaels in the Viking Age, although to a lesser degree than in neighbouring Galloway. A small number of Anglian place-names show some limited settlement by incomers from Northumbria prior to the Norse settlement. Due to the series of language changes in the area, it is not possible to say whether any Goidelic settlement took place before Gaelic was introduced in the High Middle Ages.

After the sack of Dumbarton Rock by a Viking army from Dublin in 870, the name Strathclyde comes into use, perhaps reflecting a move of the centre of the kingdom to Govan. In the same period, it was also referred to as Cumbria, and its inhabitants as Cumbrians. During the High Middle Ages, the area was conquered by the kingdom of Alba, becoming part of the new kingdom of Scotland. It remained a distinctive area into the 12th century.



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