Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Caer Brythwch

A city, probably in Wales, but lost to modern geographers.

The only Arthurian association with the city comes in Culhwch and Olwen, where Arthur’s chief gatekeeper, Glewlwyd, says that he was in Caer Brythwch, and possibly implies some Arthurian involvement. The larger legend to which this remark likely refers is lost to history.

Caer is a Welsh name for a wall or mound for defence – a city or castle wall, a fortress.

The root to this word might be cau, to shut up, to close, to fence, to enclose with a hedge. Cue means a field enclosed with hedges. When the Britons began to build cities they built a fortified wall to surround them, which were called caer.

The name Chester is a Saxonized form of the Latin castruni, a fort (and one of the few words recognised as directly inherited from the Roman invaders), is a common prefix and suffix in English place-names, such as: Colchester, Manchester, Chesterford, Chesterton. In the Danish and Anglian districts “Chester” is replaced with “caster”, such as: Doncaster and Lancaster, but both forms are allied to casirum, a Latinization of the Celtic caer.

Culhwch and Olwen | Late 11th century