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A day out; idea for getting rained off
Topic Started: May 13 2012, 05:12 AM (1,468 Views)
Sue Munro
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Malise McGuire
Jun 4 2012, 10:18 AM
Beltingham:

We discovered that this place is not called Belting - ham, as we've been calling it for the past 15 years, but Beltinge - am. Same goes for Bellingham - it's Bellinge - am.

(..'inge' as in 'singe' - to burn or char). We had this info from Pauline so it must be right! :)

Could this be applied to other places? E.g. Birminge-am - well the locals there call it Brummagem, so perhaps its countrywide and we've all be getting it wrong. ;) (also Nottinge-am....originally called Snottingaham. I'm not making this up! :D )

We went to 'Beltinge-am' to look for grave markers belonging to my late great uncle's Usher family and found a set of Bowes-Lyons family graves by the entrance. The Bowes-Lyons belonged to the late Queen Mother's family, and they owned Ridley Hall amongst other places. You would have to go past the Hall if you go to that churchyard by car. The Hall's a lovely place, both inside and out, but I'm not sure if it is generally open to the public. However, if you are getting married, it's a now a wealthy wedding venue....

The Hall gardens back on to Allenbanks where you can go for walks, courtesy of the National Trust.

Here is a link referring to one of the Haltwhistle Rings walks 'The Allenbanks Walk' - ignore the fact that the first bit is upside down as its a scanned a leaflet (on the other hand, they may be catering for our DownUnder visitors :P )

http://www.visithaltwhistle.org/haltwhistlewalk16.pdf









'Ham' is frequently used to mean town or settlement in placenames, so it depends really on when the site was first settled and who settled it. Snottingaham was named after an unfortunate Dane (I think) called Snott, therefore it is 'Snott's town'. Just gets worse, doesn't it??

Placenames featuring 'Sk-' as a prefix are of Danish origin, so believe it or not Skelmersdale really did exist before it became a new town!
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Malise McGuire
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Badger...

Don't forget that most of the building stone in that area came from Vindolanda. Williemoteswick/Williamswick/Willimontswyk Castle (across from Bardon Mill) is built of it and parts of that are medieval, so maybe not Hedley and the vicar at fault in Beltingham.
Edited by Malise McGuire, Jun 5 2012, 11:36 AM.
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Badger
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Malise

We may never know.

But if the date of the Saxon cross is that early it would predate all the other stone robbing you mention. Plus, I don't think of Saxons as being adept Latinists-other than their priests who would be appalled at putting pagan altars under a cross! Seems like picking two choice inscriptions by accident is a bit much to swallow..

Mysteries.....

T.Wolter/
Badger
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Malise McGuire
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Have you ever been in Hexham Abbey crypt? That was built in Saxon times by St Wilfrid (who covered a lot of ground and got everywhere...even to Derbyshire!) and is full of Roman carved stones.

It is fairly well known about the reuse of Roman carved or plain stones being found in Saxon churches or altars being used as bases for others, columns for fonts and the like.

Repton crypt in Derbyshire also has Roman stone in it, presumed from Derventio (Little Chester Fort, Derby) up the road. They made use of what was to hand. Corbridge church is also made of Roman stone from Corbridge Roman Town, as is Escomb stone from Binchester. Roman altars got used as door sills at Vindolanda.

It was perhaps, a way of Christianising pagan carvings. What better way to Christianise Roman altars by making them into bases for a Christian cross?

Appalled priests? No, definitely not....they were casting out the worship that went before. If they were so appalled why did they build churches in Roman forts? They certainly didn't mind building churches there - too many of those to mention BUT Portchester has a church in it, Ilkley (Olicana) also has a church in it, and so, of course, did Vindolanda. Many local churches in Northumberland have Roman stone in them.

Useful links : http://www.anglo-saxon-churches.co.uk/intro.html

Another suggestion is that Beltingham was an early sacred site with the altars already in place - "....nearby woodland implies that the artesian springs, still welling up there just by the river, were possibly a pre-existing sacred site. The find of a Roman altar close by the church is also suggestive." Description of Old Malton Church, East Yorkshire - see the link

http://searcht.aol.co.uk/aol/searches_it=topsearchbox.search&v_t=sb_uk&q=roman+carved+altar+in+saxon+cross+base

There's a lot of info out there ...... it is not mysterious at all.








Edited by Malise McGuire, Jun 5 2012, 04:32 PM.
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SacoHarry
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Just east of Chesters is the site of the "Battle of Heavenfield" -- a big Anglo-Welsh to-do from the 600s. Marking the site is a church called "St. Oswald's." The church there now is from 1817, but a medieval one was before it, and an Anglo-Saxon before that. Good website here.

It's got a Roman altar in it that was re-used at some early date as a cross base too:

Posted Image

So definitely something all the cool kids along the Wall were doing. On the other hand it really -does- seem like Rev. Hedley had some major sway & could see it as totally appropriate that his friends would move the altars there for him.

Robin did a big book on Hedley about 10 years ago. I should get a copy and read up on him more. Maybe the answer's there?
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Badger
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Malise
Interesting stuff.
Me, I want to believe it!
Saxon crosses did get moved around a bit though, a broken up one was found in the river at Haydon Bridge.
I shall do a little more snooping about in available records before impugning the rep. of the illustrious Rev. Hedley!
T.Wolter
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Malise McGuire
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Just because Hedley was in Beltingham and Roman altars were found as a cross base in the churchyard does not mean that he put the altars there in the first place.

In fact it isn't what a Reverend gent of that time would do. They would be installed as a special find somewhere in his house - a lot of clerics did this in Victorian times for their visitors to see and exclaim over - or in the local 'museum'. Why, therefore, would he have them used as a cross base? Not logical.

All the places along the South Tyne and indeed, elsewhere, have had long histories, way before the Romans came. This link is interesting: you need to get past the 'yew trees' to find the relevant bit

http://www.ancient-yew.org/mi.php/the-beltingham-yews/76

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Badger
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Malise
I had seen that link.
OK, I'm convinced.

On another topic...

I know you are off site now, but in future seasons I am sure (speaking for Harry here too) that if you were so inclined a new category for WeDig could be started and would be very popular.

From the Washing Shed

Odd graffitti, subtle patterns, stamps, more outre' Samian patterns...

I love that stuff and suspect I am not alone.

Subject to approval of the Wise of course.

Think about it

T.Wolter
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Fiona D
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I think that's a great idea Badger - how about it Malise? We all like to see the finds - obviously subject to ok.
Fiona
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Malise McGuire
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Regarding the Potwasher Hints - there is a list hanging in the back room of the shed, telling what to do and how the Directors like their potsherds washed.... I left the list there last month.

About the odd graffiti and such - I have asked Andy and this is what he said -

"Both graffiti and stamps require proper research and referencing before the details are released, and, more to the point, the release of this information is held back for the report where it can be seen in proper context. Any breach of this would be seen as serious breach of trust, and would be regarded as academically unsound and hurt the reputation of the site, therefore I cannot allow it to happen. Really the same applies to a bulk of pottery."

So, sorry folks, I'm afraid the answer is very much a "No"

Malise

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Badger
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Disappointing, but I see the logic at least with the pottery stamps.

Of course this is why we ask first!

T.Wolter
Edited by Badger, Jun 7 2012, 08:59 AM.
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