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The laws of the Anglo-Normans and those of the Welsh princedoms differed greatly with respect to land and inheritance. It was the former that won out, and which remain the basis of land law today. Remnants of earlier Welsh law, however, can still be seen in patterns of settlement and land ownership.

Although Welsh law has a clear basis in the social life of semi-nomadic pastoralists, leading a very different life to the settled arable farming communities of England, it was not in any way primitive, as T.P.Ellis was to point out in the 1920s. Welsh law is highly sophisticated, subtle, and developed. Indeed such was the aptitude of the Welsh lawyers that they became great experts in English law when compelled to adopt it. As A. H. Dodd put it in his classic Studies in Stuart Wales, by the 16th century the gentry had developed a “passion for what a Denbighshire man picturesquely called ‘lawying’“.

We know fairly little of Brymbo in the time when Powys was a thriving kingdom. It was clearly a frontier area, as Offa’s Dyke cuts it in half. At the time of Domesday, much of the area had been in English hands for some time, although it was lightly populated, if at all. The Cheshire hundred of Exestan stretched around Wrexham as far as Offa’s Dyke, while to the north the hundred of Atti’s Cross covered much of later Flintshire. The preponderance of English township and other names – Esclusham, Bersham, Stansty, and of course Harwood – is a record of this period of English administration.

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This is site about Brymbo, a township once part of Denbighshire, and its history. You can read more about the site in general, start with the most recent posts or with the archives listed below.
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