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Archiver > GENBRIT > 2005-03 > 1110996613

From: "Robert Burns" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 18:10:13 -0000
References: <KzGZd.42520$KI2.23684@clgrps12> <> <m4JZd.38604$>


Just to take you up on the points below if I may.

Where is the evidence that Welsh was spoken in the Fens until the 11th
century? These areas were colonised fairly early on by first the Saxons and
then later by the Vikings. A recent debate on Britarch ( The Council for
British Archaeology's website) was all about the linguistic characteristics
of this country. The linguists on that site along with the geneticists all
agreed that the only 2 places in England Britain as was then that spoke the
Brythonic language was in fact Wales and Cornwall. It is for this reason
that there are no Brythonic words within the modern or Old English Language
whereas Latin German and French are. There is also a sprinkling of Danish
in it also.

The fens were colonised by the Saxons and Neil Faulkner for the last 4 or 5
years as been excavating a Saxon site on the boundary of the Fens which
includes a very rich Cemetery.

You make mention that the villages cling to waterways and not roads. This
again is something that can be directly linked back to the Saxons who when
they arrived on our shores took up what can only be described as marginal
lands. At this time the Fens had to some extent been drained by the Romans
and it was during the next 400 years that they reverted back to the marshy
land that was known in the mid 15th and 16th Centuries. East Anglia was
also the homeland of Guthram the Viking King who subjugated to Alfred and
accepted Christianity sometime around 650AD.

If Welsh was being spoken in this area until the 11th century there would be
far more place names of Welsh Character but this isn't the case.

"CWatters" <> wrote in message
> ""Roy Stockdill"" <> wrote in message
> news:...
> > The pre-Roman tribes in Britain of which you speak were Celts and
> > many of them retreated into Wales. Perhaps the "disease" of which you
> > speak was becoming Welsh ! <v.b.g.>
> Close to the mark.... Welsh spoken in the Fens until the 11th century.....
> Quote: ....
> Anyone familiar with the Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire fens
> know that they are a country apart - a billiard-table landscape walled in
> flood banks, where desolate villages and farmsteads cling to waterways
> rather than roads, and where a line of pylons is the only landmark.
> it was drained, it was a boot-sucking marsh that might have swallowed an
> entire army as easily as a Venus flytrap swallows a gnat. Small wonder
> the Saxons gave it a miss, and that the ancient Celtic language (i.e.
> was spoken here at least until the 11th century. Much more startling is
> ancient Welsh kingdom of Calchvynydd. The literal translation is "chalky,
> woody land" but we know it better now as Hertfordshire.
> The rest is an interesting read but note the lack of source data mentioned
> in the header.

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