News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: East and West Kent  (Read 22216 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline davpott

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Appreciation 46
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2013, 14:41:10 »



Snip

Does anyone know when Maidstone became accepted as the county town of Kent as officially Kent County Council was only formed in 1888? Before this date government of the county was very much a local affair. In Pigot's guide to Kent (1824) he describes Maidstone as the county town but few if any institutions based in Maidstone would have had much a role in running the county in 1824. I do find this a little confusing. Apart from the assizes which is a crown affair what other role affecting the county as a whole as based in Maidstone?

The answer is quite a complicated one which requires be explored first to make it easier to understand the history :)

I'm tied up with admin. at the moment but I should get an hour of so this evening to put a short essay together.

EKCTAFC

  • Guest
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2013, 00:45:16 »
This is a fascinating thread.

I have never been comfortable with the use of the River Medway to separate the people from East or West Kent. It might have been the case that it was used to divide the tribes inhabiting the county before the Roman invasion. The iron age forts at Bigbury (East Kent) and Oldbury (West Kent) which might indicate tribal capitals or safe havens for their respective tribes in case of invasion by the romans most probably (not sure where the  iron age forts just outside Tonbridge fit in mind you). When the romans left they left the county with well built crossing over the Medway and I am sure these continued to be well used once they had left.

The fact that Kent was divided into two dioceses so quickly after Christianity came to England clearly demonstrates there were difference between East and West Kent but Rochester is very much on the east bank of the Medway but much of the Rochester diocese is on the west bank. The Lathe of Aylesford which is often cited as defining the origins for the diocese of Rochester encompasses both banks which implies that by this time the river was not considered a barrier. By the time Christianity came to England the border between East and West Kent must have been some miles to the west of the river. So clearly there were differences between the two halves of the county but also they had a lot in common as issues that affected the whole county were always resolved at Shire meetings held at Penenden Heath.

Does anyone know when Maidstone became accepted as the county town of Kent as officially Kent County Council was only formed in 1888? Before this date government of the county was very much a local affair. In Pigot's guide to Kent (1824) he describes Maidstone as the county town but few if any institutions based in Maidstone would have had much a role in running the county in 1824. I do find this a little confusing. Apart from the assizes which is a crown affair what other role affecting the county as a whole as based in Maidstone?









 

Offline davpott

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Appreciation 46
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2012, 21:04:39 »
Or perhaps Elvin (1894) is right when he suggests place names begining with Wal- or Wall- are indicative of a place near roman fortification, in this case near the sea (mer) hence Walmer?

There are two problems that I can see with that argument.
Firstly
After a quick look through Gelling's books on my shelves, the Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names and the EPNS website (http://kepn.nottingham.ac.uk/map/place/Kent/Worth) and searching places with the same elements, the Wal element in the majority of cases is traced back to walh which can be read either as Welsh or British. That includes the place name Wales itself. Even the Judith Glover's book The Place Names of Kent (Dr Paul Cullen's opinion on her work cannot be repeated here without breaking the forums code) which is full of incorrect or doubtful detail concurs on Walmer's meaning.

I am by no means an expert on place names however I do know that the earliest spellings of place names are used to try and determine its origins. Modern archive cataloguing and the invention of computers have brought many obscure ancient documents to the notice of scholars of all disciplines that would have seemed unimaginable even twenty years ago. Prior to our modern standardised spellings words were spelt phonetically which give the experts in onomastics  a clue to how  the original elements sounded.  Paul Cullen is quick to point out the problem is compounded in Kent as before the modern ‘posh’ accent which has replaced our local accent,  all of the vowels in Kentish were pretty much interchangeable. 
Don’t we all just love pointing out the correct pronunciation of Elham (eelam), Barham (barrum) and Challock (cholluck) to visitors when they miss-pronounce them?

Looking at Hasted he suggests the name may have derived form a sea wall built to keep the sea out of the ‘village’. Which is where I suspect writers of a hundred and fifty or so years later got the idea of the origins of the wal element of Walmer without delving any deeper into the onomastics. I suspect modern studies have found the name predates the wall being constrcted. A little similar to this is the still often quoted incorrect origin of nearby Staple being so called from the wool staple ( a means of controlling wool dealing introduced about 1300), where in fact the parish name predates the wool staple by many centuries.

Secondly
Quite simply the only walled settlements in Kent were Canterbury and Rochester. The only walled forts were Reculver, Richborough, Dover and Lympne. There was no roman fort or known nor suspected settlement at Walmer.
 

Offline scintilla

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Appreciation 17
    • Kenticisms
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2012, 08:58:19 »
PLACE NAMES IN KENT. by CANON J. W. HORSLEY, says

"Walmer is said to be named from the marshy ground behind the Wall, or old raised beach, which begins by Walmer Castle."

Dadredge

  • Guest
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2012, 21:16:04 »
'Pool of the britons' is a new one on me! Although I guess it could refer to the pool of sea water trapped behind the shingle wall.

Also I have heard that names beginning with Wal- refer to Roman Fortifications thus Walmer is such by the sea.

But I appreciate your information. Thank you.

David

Offline davpott

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Appreciation 46
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2012, 20:46:22 »
".... the name of “Walmer” derives from the Jutish for 'coast of the slaves' ...."

Most other sources think Walmer derives from 'sea wall' - presumably describing the build up of sediment producing a thin length of coast above sealevel.

Any thoughts on which derivation may be correct?

David

I'm not too sure what other sources you refer to.

The experts say Walmer

'Pool of the Britons'.

Elements and their meanings
•walh (Anglian) A Briton, a Welshman.
•mere (Old English) A pond, a pool, a lake


Refs
•Watts; Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names 646
•"Cullen; The Place-names of the Lathes of St Augustine and Shipway, Kent" 487
•E. Ekwall; Dictionary of English Place-Names 493
•Cameron; Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-names 27
•Wallenberg; Kentish Place-Names 298
•A.D. Mills; Dictionary of English Place-Names 363
•Wallenberg; The Place-Names of Kent 577

Source http://kepn.nottingham.ac.uk/

Dadredge

  • Guest
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2012, 22:38:48 »
Or perhaps Elvin (1894) is right when he suggests place names begining with Wal- or Wall- are indicative of a place near roman fortification, in this case near the sea (mer) hence Walmer?

Dadredge

  • Guest
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2012, 12:37:43 »
".... the name of “Walmer” derives from the Jutish for 'coast of the slaves' ...."

Most other sources think Walmer derives from 'sea wall' - presumably describing the build up of sediment producing a thin length of coast above sealevel.

Any thoughts on which derivation may be correct?

David

Offline davpott

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Appreciation 46
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2012, 21:31:02 »
I managed to find my copy of The Archaeology of Kent to AD 800 ed John H Williams, (Boydell 2007)….without having to ask the other half if they'd seen it and who would probably suggest if I sorted out my office and book shelves I’d be able to find it :)

When this thread first came to my notice I began mentally to prepare to write on the cultural differences and the kingdom having two kings with the western one appearing to be subservient to the eastern king. This is based largely on the reading I did after tutorials by both Dr Gill Draper (landscape archaeologist and Kent historian) and Richard Eales a Kent medieval historian/specialist.

Notwithstanding my earlier posts which point to a pre roman difference between east and west Kent.

Back to the book….P209
“Cemetery archaeology for the fifth to sixth century is fundamentally different in the two halves of the county. West Kent shares ‘Saxon’ characteristics with much of the rest of south-east  England (Essex, Surrey, Sussex, etc.) and its roots are to be found in the fifth-century cemeteries of Elbe-Weser coastlands in the north-west Germany……….(loads of technical details omitted for brevity)
………By contrast east Kent cemeteries are characterised by  the development of a distinctive ‘Kentish’ material culture.(more technical detail omitted for brevity)
……..By the seventh-century, however this  east Kentish material culture was being adopted in west Kent, reflecting the annexation of territory between the medway and London in the later sixth century. (herds more technical bits omitted ..until it gets to….)
…….Traditionally this Scandinavian presence has been linked to Bede’s statement that Kent was settled by Jutes from mainland Denmark (HE I. 15), but recent research has pointed to the danger of over-simplistic interpretation (cited). A complicating factor is the major presence of Gallo-Roman and Frankish cultural material in east Kent in the later fifth and through most of the sixth century. Indeed it is though the a combination of Scandinavian and Frankish elements that the uniquely blended Kentish tradition emerges during the sixth century; this was to be developed to its fullest during the seventh century.”

Offline davpott

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Appreciation 46
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2012, 19:40:17 »
Sorry I should have expanded an abbreviation quoted verbatim from Detsicas in my last post for those who are unfamiliar with Julius Caesar’s work The Battle for Gaul or De Bello Gallico.
The phrase ‘the people of Cingetorix’.etc ; is easier to understand as the people of Cingetorix, Carilius, Taximagulus & Seqonax , the four tribal leaders but called ‘reges’ or  kings by Caesar.   

Offline davpott

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Appreciation 46
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2012, 17:08:37 »

The extreme west of the modern county was occupied by Iron Age tribes, known as the Regnenses. It is possible that another ethnic group occupied what is now called The Weald and East Kent. Was this the original East/West divide, as opposed to divisions between earlier nomadic tribes who probably occupied no fixed territory?

The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word Cantus meaning "rim" or "border". This describes the eastern part of the current county area as a border land or coastal district. Julius Caesar had described the area as Cantium, or home of the Cantiaci in 51 BC.

Detsicas in The Cantici(Sutton 1983)p1  discusses  the Ceaser’s 54BC comment of there being four ‘kings’ in Cantium or Kent and that he fails to name what the four tribes were called.  He goes on to say that they were unlikely to all be of the same ethnic group which is demonstrated by the different ceramic styles. The Belgic are unlikely to have gone any further west than the Medway, a non-Belgic people to the north west and a ‘wealden’ people to the south.

The "New" Historical Atlas of Kent says very little about the late iron age which is somewhat unusual for the contributor Alan Ward who usually has a lot to say. Somewhere I have got a copy of the Archaeology of Kent to 800AD but I can't locate it at the moment so unable to see what the latest thinking is on the subject.


Op cit pp6-7 “The conclusion seems inescapable that the people living in Caesar’s Cantium were not known by a collective name, but that there existed in the area several small groups of people, probably referred to simply as ‘the people of Cingetorix’, etc.: hence, it would appear the Caesar had no option than to encompass them all together in his circumlocution. For it seems both unnecessary and unthinkable , particularly in view of his direct involvement in the area and other specific references to British tribes by name, that Caesar should have known and not used the name of the people of his Cantium, if they had one at the time.”

Ibid The Roman-made federacy became known by the new collective term Cantiaci from about the second century.

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
  • Appreciation 165
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 16:22:44 »
Peterchall I have just found out that my Grandfather joined up in Gravesend when he was visiting an older sister. That would account for him joining a West Kent Regiment as opposed to the Buffs from the start.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Cloveshoo

  • Guest
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 16:17:07 »
What a fantastic thread!

Offline peterchall

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
  • Appreciation 186
  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2011, 08:55:59 »
My grandfather, living in Sheerness, joined the RWK's, recruiting in Queenborough, in late 1914.
Thanks. That makes sense because the crossing from Sheppey is into RWK territory.

My Grand Father joined up for the Great War in Sittingbourne. He went into the Royal West Kent and was later merged with the Buffs. I think the boundry was pretty well adhered to. S4.
Thanks again. The map is not very clear regarding the position of the boundary relative to Sittingbourne, but it's hard to believe that it would go right through the centre - most organisations would put their boundary clear of a town or village for simplicity. I agree that the boundary would probably be kept to, both by the regiments and the recruits - after all, what self-respecting Kentish Man would want to join the Buffs? :) However, I imagine that  someone living in Gravesend might want to if there were family ties, such as a cousin in the regiment, and I wonder if that would be acceptable.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1932
  • Appreciation 165
Re: East and West Kent
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2011, 04:38:02 »
My Grand Father joined up for the Great War in Sittingbourne. He went into the Royal West Kent and was later merged with the Buffs. I think the boundary was pretty well adhered to. S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines