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BRITARCH  January 2014

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Subject:

Re: Soil/cropmarks at Crandon Bridge, Somerset

From:

Vince Russett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 Jan 2014 18:16:47 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (214 lines)

Tim

The last time that the Somerset Levels were rock (without alluvium or peat
cover) was at the end of the Ice Ages, 15000 years or so ago (give or
take). At that date, sea level was tens of metres lower than now, and the
area we now call the Somerset Levels would have been an area of tundra
stretching down to a river at the bottom of the Severn estuary. Subsequent
sea level rise and flooding helped lay down the peat and alluvium that now
constitutes the Somerset Levels. By 3807BC (I think that's the right date
for the Sweet Track) the Levels were within about 2m of their current
levels.

Now sea-going trade with large ships didn't really happen until the Roman
period in these here parts (although I suppose a few Greeks might have
turned up a few hundred years earlier) and there was never a time when
Langport could have been a seaside port. Now don't get me wrong: I love
Langport, and know it well (great butcher, or there was a few years back,
cracking Scotch eggs), but can't you be happy to be proud of its riverine
trade? Or its important medieval market and market crosses? Or its Hanging
Chapel?

I'm just sayin'

Vince


On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 10:15 PM, tim Lazenby
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi thanks for that. I'm sure your right. However I'm obviously quoting myth
> and legend, which are always difficult to substantiate, as they are not
> mainstream thinking.
>
> What I'm saying is that the Somerset levels are in fact 30m or so of peat
> over solid rock, the peat hasn't always been there therfore the Parret and
> the land surrounding it was probably open sea, think of it as a giant
> estuary, my view is that Bridgewater is newer than Langport. I would highly
> recommend a visit to Langport, its is in my opinion a very much overlooked
> ancient site. if one visits there one can really get a sense of the scale
> of the earth works and ancient excavations that where undertaken to create
> the amazing town.
>
> Obviously we are talking pre 1100, when I'm sure the once navagable Parret
> ended.
>
> regards
>
> tim
>
>
> On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 1:54 PM, Vince Russett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Tim
> >
> > Just to say that construction of the bridge at Bridgwater c1100 prevented
> > sea-going vessels travelling any further up the river, and contemporary
> > records (Bridgwater Borough Records are very full and mostly published)
> > state quite clearly that one of Bridgwater's functions as a port was to
> > transfer material from sea-going vessels to river vessels to travel
> further
> > inland.
> >
> > This was an almost universal practice, and another site I know personally
> > would be Rooks Bridge near Brent Knoll (where furniture purchased by the
> > churchwardens at St Johns Glastonbury from Welsh Back in Bristol were
> > transferred to smaller vessels, to travel on to Glastonbury in 1400).
> > Indeed some of my ancestors from Cheddar stole a suit of armour from a
> > sea-going vessel there that had been ordered from an armourer in Dublin
> in
> > the late 15th century...
> >
> > I should add that I don't know there's any evidence that the Parrett was
> > once the size of the Thames. For example, see the Environment Agency
> > lidar data.
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM, tim Lazenby
> > <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> >
> > > Maybe, but I'm sticking with Langport. I have no formal education in
> > these
> > > matters so what I'm about to say is pure speculation but hopefully
> > someone
> > > with more knowledge than me will add to this. I'll just use bullet
> points
> > > for me er, points!
> > >
> > > 1. The Welsh dragon and the Somerset griffon are in fact the same
> > > creature or maybe Somerset just changed it a little
> > > 2. Highbridge is only 17 miles as the crow flies from Penarth.
> > > 3. Another interesting fact that not many people know is that the are
> > fresh
> > > water springs that come up in three places in Pitney originate in
> Wales,
> > > here is one they run all year round even in drought 51 3'8.38"N
> > > 248'5.21"W
> > > 4. The same spring water also rises at the foot of Glastonbury Tor.
> > > 5. The romans invaded because we were rich as hell, Welsh gold
> > >
> > > The way I see it is Wales and the South West we probably one entity in
> > pre
> > > history, hence why the Cornish language is very similar to welsh (or
> > > Brithonic to be precise)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM, Mike Weatherley <
> > > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > > Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2013 22:40:39 +0000
> > > > > From: [log in to unmask]
> > > > > Hi carole
> > > > > The Parret was once a mighty river probably as large as the
> > > > > Thames is now, but once sea levels dropped back ?? (add date) then
> it
> > > > > stopped being used as commercial river. The other thing worthy of
> > note
> > > is
> > > > > that there is a legendary battle between Arthur
> > > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraint_son_of_Erbin, at Longborth
> > (long
> > > > > berth) it is believed that this refers to Langport and in fact in
> its
> > > hey
> > > > > day, Langport could accommodate 13 tall ships sic.
> > > > >
> > > > A more convincing location for Longborth, though, might be Portsmouth
> > > > harbour.
> > > >
> > > > 'Llongborth' in the early Welsh actually means: 'Warship port' (which
> > > > Portsmouth
> > > >
> > > > has been ever since Roman times). Llong is the abbreviated Welsh
> > version
> > > > of the
> > > >
> > > > Latin 'navis longa', literally: 'long-ship', or 'warship' (hence why
> > the
> > > > later Saxon
> > > >
> > > > & Viking warships were so named). Portsmouth harbour was probably
> known
> > > in
> > > >
> > > > Roman times as the 'Portus Adurni' of the Notitia Dignitatum (dated
> c.
> > > > 430). It may
> > > >
> > > > have gone into colloquial early Welsh as the 'warship port' of the
> > poem.
> > > > There is,
> > > >
> > > > of course, a Saxon Shore fort at the top of Portsmouth harbour (hence
> > its
> > > > listing in
> > > >
> > > > the ND) defending the harbour against the most prevalant source of
> > piracy
> > > > in (what
> > > >
> > > > became known as) the 'English Channel' from the 3rd/4th c. onwards.
> > Which
> > > > provides
> > > >
> > > > us with the most likely adversary being faced by Arthur when the poem
> > is
> > > > set (late 5th c.)
> > > >
> > > > Presumably the garrison of the Saxon Shore fort originally provided
> the
> > > > manpower for
> > > >
> > > > operating the warships, which, from late Roman times, consisted of
> > small,
> > > > fast galleys
> > > >
> > > > for scouting/warning of Saxon pirate-ships/raids. Any consideration
> of
> > > > whether Langport
> > > >
> > > > or Portsmouth are the more likely candidate must consider that Saxon
> > > > piracy is attested
> > > >
> > > > in the English Channel quite by the 5th c. - much earlier than any
> > (if
> > > > at all) in the Bristol
> > > >
> > > > Channel (which might have threatened the Parret). The Dumnonian
> > peninsula
> > > > seems to
> > > >
> > > > have been in British control/remained unraided until after the Battle
> > of
> > > > Dyrrham (557)
> > > >
> > > > when Cirencester, Bath & Gloucester are claimed to have been captured
> > by
> > > > the Saxons
> > > >
> > > > (presumably from their eastern enclaves overland).
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Regards & Happy New Year to all,
> > > >
> > > > Mike
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
>

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