The name of Brychan means freckled, and this possibly describes Brychan’s appearance.
He was the son of Amlach and Marchell of Garthmadrun (near modern day Brecon). He was born in Ireland but the family moved to the now Brecon area , following the Roman roads from St Bride’s Bay. For seven years he was taught by Drichan, a holy man (probably a druid). At the end of his seven years tutelage Drichan bade him to bring him his spear, and he pointed to a boar and a stag who came to stand with a fish in the river near to a beech tree which dripped with honey. These possible Druidical portents predicted Brychan would have a glorious future.
He was sent as a hostage to Powys when hostilities broke out between Amlach and Banadl the king. While he was there he fell in love with Banadeluned, who bore him a son Cynog. Brychan recognised him as his son by giving him a golden armilla (an armband).
When Amlach died Brychan became king and the Kingdom was renamed Brycheiniog in his honour. Earliest documents say he married three times and had 24 daughters and 24 sons, and they are recognised as one of the ‘Holy Families of Britain.’
Brychan became a hermit towards the end of his life and handed his throne in Brycheiniog to Rhain Dremudd his eldest son. He died in the mid 5th Century and was buried on Ynys Brychan, which is identified today as Lundy Island.