Placename formation took place over a very long period and it is clear just
by looking at placenames in one's immediate locality that the reasons for a
placename formation are many and various.
As far as I know there is no connection between 'wic' placenames and whether
or not there has been continuous occupation since prehistoric times. but
we need to be very clear what continuous occupation means , is it of a
specific site or a specific area. because you have only to look at any
modern village to see even when it is a relatively cohesive whole, various
parts of it can acquire a separate name as a means of location, 'Somewhere
Churchend', or 'Somewhere Winterbourne'. Even more so when the new part is
a recent addition to an existing settlement. If village centres shift or
decay the subsidiary name becomes the centre of the settlement and its name
becomes the name of the settlement. hamlets can hav completely separate
names, evenwhen they are only hundreds of yards from the main settlement
Similarly there is no reason to think, 'wic' or not, that a place with an
Anglo-Saxon name was new-founded by the Saxons. Roman Calleva Atebatum
becunes Saxon Silchester,
One of the difficulties I have with the 'separate development' theory is
that in the Roman period, when as well as having overall Roman governance,
and in areas, Roman military occupation, most of the higher echelons of the
native population were Romanised, when you look at placenames, most remained
essentially celtic. The Romans romanised the celtic names of large towns but
the celtic element remained. Looking at the Norman Conquest the same is
apparent. Their effect of placenames is even less. Most of the placenames in
England are essentially Anglo-Saxon. However the Anglo-Saxons reach these
shores and we see a complete renaming of the country side and while I can
understand that the newer owner of an estate may want to call it 'My town'
and even call another area 'My water meadows' What I do not understand why
he then goes round renaming every minute place in his estate. If the serfs
call their hamlet 'Our hovel' in their own language, he might Saxonise it
but not transalate or change.This to me suggests either the old idea of
large numbers of Anglo-Saxons coming in to colonise an empty land or a far
closer mixing of AS and the existing population, which would preclude
From: "Andy Horton" The question was how do your local wics fare?
Suthwic (Southwick) Sussex, archaeological continuous occupation through
Roman times, before and after
Nearby, Highdown, the same continuous occupation through Roman times,
before and after
Why was one a wic and another not?
An unprovable speculative possibility: One area Suthwic was predominately
Romano-Brit in tribal make-up and retained its Latin component to its name
whereas the other area was under political control of the Saxons.
Archaeological evidence will not reveal the answer. Back in Ektall's time
Roman coins could have been very usual finds.
There was a topographical difference though. Suthwic juxta Portus Ladda was
on a haven, Wychkham was next to a navigable River Adur (not a
Welsh/Cornish name origin), whereas Highdown, despite being near the coast
was not directly navigable.
Anyrate, place name is study is a bit speculative. It is always the most
believable explanation. -ora name components is one example.
On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 08:11:08 +0100, kevin wooldridge <[log in to unmask]>
>In 5th to 9th century Britain surely every settlement was by definition 'a
place where something was made' be it metalwork, ceramic, textile, bone
tools, coinage, straw hats, fishing nets, fish hooks, salt, milk, cheese,
bread, illuminated manuscripts, weapons, buckets, houses, pointed sticks,
ice skates, amber jewellry, roof tiles, tin trays, loom weights, mirrors,
glassware etc etc. We are discussing an iron age (note lower case)
agricultural/semi-industrial society. But not every 5th to 9th century
placename is a -wich, -vic or -wick.
> I am personally quite happy to accept that -wich, -vic, and -wick place
names could have a multiplicity of origins, but it is probably only
archaeology (at the end of the day), that will demonstrate whether such
settlements were newly founded in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th centuries,
refounded on settlements of Roman origin or were continuously occupied over
a longer period of time, and what 'activity', may or may not have taken
place in that settlement at different times.