He was, according to tradition, the outstanding figure in the older line of rulers of Powys, insomuch that the poets came to call Powys the land of Brochwel. He was the son of Cyngen and the father of Cynan Garwyn and of S. Tysilio, founder of the ancient church of Meifod. As his grandson, Selyf ap Cynan, fell while leading the Welsh in the battle of Chester (c. 613), he cannot be the Brocmail mentioned by Bede as playing a cowardly part on the same occasion. According to the legend of S. Melangell of Pennant, supported by Gerald of Wales, he had a royal seat at Shrewsbury, not yet occupied by the Mercians and bearing the Welsh name of Pengwern; this is variously placed on the site occupied later by the castle and on that of (old) S. Chad's.
Published date: 1959
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