|Roman remains in Wall.|
Yes, I know I've done place names before but I've had a particularly hectic week and I'm pushed for time. I wanted to take part in Five on Friday this week because it's the last one to be hosted by Amy at Love Made My home. I wanted to say thank you to her for looking after us for so long and being such a welcoming host. It's been fun, and I've learned lots from my fellow Fivers.
But please bear with me if this is short and sweet. I've chosen five places that have meant something to me for some reason, either that I've lived close to them, or passed through them regularly.
Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire. First recorded in 780 as Yrtlingaburg, which means "fortified manor belonging to the ploughmen" in Old English. The Domesday Book* (1086) called it Erdinburne, These days the locals call it Artleknock. I have no idea why!
Margate, Kent. First recorded as Meregate in 1254. From the Old English meaning "gap leading to the sea". Now known as the original seaside. (Though Northern coastal folk would disagree!)
Meriden, West Midlands. First mentioned in 1230. It means "pleasant valley" or "where merrymaking takes place" in Old English. In spite of what some people believe, its nothing to do with 'meridian' and absolutely not related to the fact that the village is as close to the centre of England as makes no difference.
Wall, Staffordshire. Originally listed as Wal in manorial documents from 1166. Want to guess what's there? Correct - it's a wall. In fact it's several walls dating from the Roman era when Letocetum was an important place on Watling Street. The old Roman road still runs through the village but its 'modern' replacement (The A5, brought 'up to date' by Thomas Telford in the 1820s.) runs past the village now.
Wetwang, North Yorkshire
Mentioned in the Domesday Book* (1086). From the Old Scandinavian for "a place for trial of legal actions". We go past this place regularly on the way to see Mr Anorak's mother. We always laugh at the sound of it.
*The Domesday Book (pronounced 'doomsday') was a record of the settlements in England after its defeat by the Normans in 1066. One of the first things William ordered was an extensive survey of what he now owned, and it was published 20 years later. It's a valuable historic source for researchers.
Much of the information in this post has been gathered from the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, (1998 Past Times edition)