British Place names as suggestion/pointers towards Dark Age history

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jamie 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #15540

    ancalagon
    Participant

    Hi,I think your podcasts are fantastic, and are serving as an excellent distraction from studying for me. I was wondering whether you had looked into the place names of many places in Britain as pointers towards dark age history at all? I know very little about the subject, but I know that many place names can shed some light, or at least indicate connections to, things we have vague records of. I am aware that most place names in the South of Britain particularly are no longer the same as they would be in the dark ages due to Norman invasions giving them a much more French tone, but place names in the North and west of Britain are particularly interesting. As I said I have very little real knowledge of such things, other than little tidbits that I've picked up, but I was just wondering whether you've looked into them as a source of evidence for events?

  • #17970

    TimHodkinson
    Participant

    Sorry I'm not Jamie but I do have a bit of an opinion on this. I agree that place names can often give a clue to previous history.Its actually in the South that most of the "Anglo-Saxon" names survive in purer forms: The north east was overrrun by the Vikings in the late dark ages so place names bear a heavy Norse influence, while the west (in particular Wales obviously) tend to have Celtic or Celtic-influenced names, so I suppose it depends on which part of the "dark ages" you are interested in. Something that particularly interests me are the remaining place names that reveal Anglo-Saxon pagan origins, of which there are relatively few survivals: e.g. Wansdyke and Woodnesborough are named after the old god Woden and there is a town called "Thundersley" named after Thunor/Thunder. Then there are the days of the week, which are pretty much all called after Anglo-Saxon deities.

  • #17971

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    Great response, Tim.I'll just add that I'll be mentioning place names and the like as we go forward in the podcast.  In fact, in the most recent ones I've been touching on them a little.  We'll hear more of the names and what they meant in the early days in future episodes.Thanks for listening!

  • #17972

    anonymous
    Participant

    I understand that towns ending in BY were former Viking settlements.

  • #17973

    anonymous
    Participant

    Just to add to the “resources”.  There was a series on PBS here in Nashville during July…Michael Woodwards Britain and it explored area-wide archaeological dig in a market town/farming community.  The series was multi-parts and went into the place names where the dig took place.  They found Saxon, Roman, Viking, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Victorian, etc artifacts.  Really, quite fascinating and worth a look-see.

  • #17974

    Liam
    Participant

    Dont know how relevant but its quite interesting, nottinghamshire used to be called snottinghamshire until the normans invaded and decided it sounde stupid

  • #17975

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    Hahaha, Liam it's good to know that in a pinch you could write for me.  That last post read almost exactly the way I would sarcastically have described it.  :)

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