Elmet was a small Celtic kingdom that existed in what is now the region of West Yorkshire in northern England during the early medieval period.
Elmet was one of the several small kingdoms that emerged in the post-Roman Britain after the Roman withdrawal in the fifth century AD. The historical records about Elmet are limited, but it is believed to have been one of the native Brittonic kingdoms, established by the Celtic Britons who remained in the region after the Roman occupation.
The exact boundaries and history of Elmet are not well-documented, but it is generally believed to have been centered around the River Aire and the surrounding areas in West Yorkshire. The kingdom of Elmet was situated between other early medieval British kingdoms such as Northumbria to the north and Mercia to the south.
Elmet’s historical significance lies in its resistance to the expansion of neighboring Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, particularly the Kingdom of Northumbria. During the early medieval period, the Anglo-Saxons from Northumbria sought to expand their territory southwards, and this led to conflicts with the Britons of Elmet. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other historical sources mention battles between the two kingdoms.
Despite its resistance, Elmet eventually fell to the expansion of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria in the early seventh century. It is believed that the last known king of Elmet was Ceretic (also known as Ceredig or Ceredic), who was forced to submit to the Northumbrian ruler Edwin around 616 AD.
Following its conquest, the territory of Elmet was assimilated into Northumbria, and the kingdom of Elmet ceased to exist as an independent political entity. However, the memory of Elmet and its significance in early British history has been preserved in historical texts and regional folklore.