[lit-ideas] The Glyndebourne Picnics

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 15:47:02 EST

Echoes of Glyndebourne
My Glyndebourne Diary
From the Downland to the Glynde: an operatic intermezzo
"He knew the interlude would be long -- it was "Cav." by Mascagni, and  
instead of staying for it, he rambled along the valley to the downland".  

I too think I buy the Balkan theory. My favourite is "1006 and all that"  
"Hengist and his wife (or horse)"-- I know that's Kent. Seax means axe in 
too. This was important operatically as "Santa Chiara" was by this Saxony  

I too would follow the evidence and Nennius (Loeb, right?) -- if you  have 
time, transcribe the passage. Geary misses his Latin. 
  Hudson, "Nature in Downland"
Thanks to S. Ward for further notes.
It brought back to me discussions I held on the (I think now defunct)  
English Dialect Study Centre (Sheffield) with R. Coates. What an expert on  
Sussexian! I append below some notes for the sake of it, as I too would  focus 
on toponymy, so called.
In a message dated 3/3/2009 2:40:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
"What happened in what S. Ward calls the 'dark  ages' of what was to  become 
It all depends,  unfortunately, on your view point because the available  
evidence is scant  and open to interpretation. The most important debate is 
whether the South  Saxons were brought in by ambitious local Brits (The  
Balkanisation  Theory), or whether they were heroic seaborne invaders as the 
chronicles  would have us believe. I tend towards the former interpretation,  
but leave  room for the possibility of a landing or two. The other debate is 
one between  tradition and evidence over the route the  South Saxons took in 
their  take-over. Tradition has a west-east flow of  battles, whilst evidence  
suggests an east-west progression. I favour the  evidence. And if you want  
Romance, there's always the possibility that Arthur fought  his first  battle 
just south east of Lewes at the mouth of what is now the  Glynde.  You need 
Nennius and a stack of archaeological articles to get the  context  of this 
That and a measure of disbelief over the historicity of  said  Arthur."
Well, Prof. Coates has 

"A guide to the dialect of Sussex"
as a "Publication pending".

From his notes I gather: Suosexe or Suoseaxe, then Suoseaxnaland. Many  names 
in Sussex are Saxon names, the Saxons having invaded in 477AD, settled the  
lowlands of Sussex and named most of what we see today. The names as they were  
told by the locals with their thick rural Sussex accents. Modern problems 
have  been caused by the Ordnance Survey who got several names wrong and 
to  make quite a few up as they created the maps we see today. Unfortunately, 
most  people have only these maps to go by." 

Coates has studied Alfriston  Buncton  Caburn (Mount)   Chanctonbury 
Ring/Hill  Cold Crouch  Combe Hill  Chiddingly  Wood  Cissbury Ring 
Cuckmere (River)  Ditchling   Ditchling Beacon  Frog Firle  Glynde  Harrow 
Hill  Highdown  Hill  Hindover Hill  Litlington   Lullington  Milton  Street 
New Barn Down  Oxteddle Bottom  Philpots Promontory  Camp  Pingwell Haw  
Ranscombe (Camp and Farm)   St. Roche's  Hill  Tas Combe 
The Trundle  Westmeston  Wilmington (Long Man  of)  Windover Hill  Winton  
Glover, Judith : Sussex Place Names, Countryside Books 1997 Mawer, A. &  
Stenton, F.M. : The Place Names of Sussex (Parts I & II), Cam. UP 1929
Morris, John (Ed.) : Domesday Book (Sussex), Phillimore 1976 Parish, Rev W.  
D. & Hall, Helena : Sussex Dialect Dictionary, Gardners 1957 Roberts, R.G. :  
The Place Names of Sussex, Cam. UP 1914 Rubin, Sven : The Phonology of the  
Middle English Dialect of Sussex, Lund 1951 Various : SNQ Volume 3, Sussex  
Archaeological Society 1930-1931
"The county of Sussex is not greatly blessed with place names of the  heathen 
type and like everywhere else in England, has little in the way  
archaeological remains relating to Pagan Saxon religious practices. The lack of 
names is somewhat strange, as Sussex, along with the Isle of Wight are  
considered to be the last places Christianised in England."
"Whilst there are some signs of Christianity in late Roman times, this  seems 
to have been wiped out with the invasion of the Saxons. It is often  thought 
that Christianity didn't return to Sussex until St. Wilfid, Bishop of  York, 
came to Sussex in 678 after being thrown out of Northumbria. However Bede  
records some Irish monks living in the area of Bosham before the arrival of  
Wilfrid (Brandon 1978 p.169)."
"Folklore Concerning Pagan Saxons. The Pagan god Thor is a character in a  
story about a group of barrows on Treyford Hill called the 'Devil's Jumps'  
(SU825173). This piece of lore also, rather unsurprisingly, involves the Devil. 
The story goes thus :  "In the old days, the god Thor was fond of sitting  on 
the top of Treyford Hill for a rest. One day the Devil came by, and seeing  the 
five barrows, he took it into his head to amuse himself leaping through the  
air from one to another. All this thumping and jumping disturbed Thor, who 
woke  up in a temper, and shouted: 'Go Away!'. But Old Nick only laughed and 
jeered at  him. 'Poor old Thor!' he said. 'Don't you wish you could jump like 
But your  too old to be jumping about', said he.  The words were no sooner out 
of his  mouth than Thor upped with a huge stone and hurled it straight at 
him. It got  him full in the midriff, just as he was in the middle of his 
jump. So the  old Devil, he gave a great yell, and he took himself off double 
quick. And he  has never been seen there from that day to this, though of 
course the mounds are  still there." (Simpson 1973 p.61) 
"One possible site has been put forward recently as a Saxon shrine in  
Sussex. Chris Butler's excavations near Friars Oak, Hassocks revealed a square  
post-hole building which was interpreted as a shrine (Butler 2000 p.20). The  
building was roughly 3 metres square with an entrance on the south side and  
contained a floor area containing daub and evidence of burning, including the  
remains of burnt planks, which suggests the building was burnt down at some  
point. A divide of burnt material across the floor split the building in two,  
the entrance being into the western side, with access into the other side  
through a gap in the partition. The post-holes surrounding the burnt floor area 
show no sign of burning. Pottery dated the building to around the beginning 
of  the seventh century. The building interpretation as a shrine is down to the 
 small size of the structure, which is too small for habitation, and its  
similarity to buildings found in Saxon burial grounds."
"The Old English Hearg means a heathen temple on a hill, of which Sussex  
possesses several possibilities. The best treatment of this element concerning  
Sussex is by Richard Coates (1980 p.309). Coates lists several possibilities,  
none of which he gives as certain, but some of the more probable are listed  
below. As well as the names given below for which locations are broadly known,  
there are other example, such as Haregedon (1203 FF), the personal name  
Harewedon (1332 SR) found in the Stedham and Ringmer area and also various 
given for an unknown site, Chusehar, Chisharwe & Cheseharegh (1330 Ipm)  
(Mawer & Stenton 1929 p.165). 
"The most famous of the hearg sites is Harrow Hill near Worthing in West  
Sussex (TQ082100). The name was first recorded in 1813 on the Ordnance Survey  
maps, though it was known by some local people as Harry Hill (Curwen &  Curwen 
1922 p.29), and also note that the name The Harrow Ways was given to "a  fairly 
level section of the Broadwater to Arundel road which stretches 1700 feet  
from the Fox Inn westwards towards Hammerpot, in the parish of Angmering". The  
hilltop site provides no archaeological evidence of a Saxon shrine of any 
sort,  but there are plenty of earlier remains. The most notable are a 
of  Neolithic flint mines and a small hillfort from the Late Bronze-Age / 
Early Iron  Age. The excavations of the hillfort have some interest here as 
show the  remains of earlier ritual practices. There was no sign of huts or 
occupation  within the fort, but the skulls of between 50 and 100 ox were found 
in a few  small cuttings, with little sign of other types of bone (Holleyman 
1937 p.250).  Whether the name given to the hill is for an unrelated use of the 
site by the  Saxons or holds some memory about the Saxon use of the site is 
uncertain, though  the Curwens (1922 p.28) notes that many teeth were found 
under the turf,  which may suggest the latter. 

"Mount Harry in the parish of Hamsey near Lewes (TQ382122) is another  
possible derivation from this element, though Coates (1980 p.310) is unsure if  
1332 subsidy roll entry for Harrow Down refers to this hill. The hill itself  
is covered with little but the odd tumulus."
"This name occurs on some OS maps in the parish of Harting, which is on the  
border with Hampshire. There are no early forms and little is known about  it."
"This name occurs on the Clapham/Findon boundary (Wilson 1942 p.44) but no  
remains of this 'stone temple' have been found. The Romano-British shrine at  
Muntham Court lies fairly near the border in Findon, but it was constructed of  
wood rather than stone (Burstow & Holleyman 1957 p.102)." 
"The Old English Ōs or Ēs refers to a god of some sort, with Ēsa being the  
plural form (Smith 1956 Vol. 1 p.159). The use of these elements is difficult 
to  interpret as they are so short, and Gelling (1987) makes no mention of the 
 element at all in her study on Pagan place names."
"The Hundred name of Easewrithe is thought to derive from this element, but  
though some writers recognised the first element Esa, they thought it related 
to  a personal name (Mawer & Stenton 1929 p.146), with the interpretation 
given  here only coming later on (Rubin 1951 p.135,Smith 1956 Vol. 1 p.159). 
hundred is now split into two, East and West, but the site that is said to 
have  named the hundred is in Sullington where in 1296 (SR) and 1338 (Ass) 
is  mention of one 'Robert de Esewryth' (Mawer & Stenton 1929 p.146)."
"Easebourne is the name of a village (SU895225), parish and Hundred in West  
Sussex. The 'stream' referred to may be the River Rother which passes just to  
the south-west of the village, but is probably the small stream that passes  
through the village and leads south-west into the Rother. Again, Mawer &  
Stenton (1929 p.17) give the first element as the personal name Esa, but Rubin  
(1951 p.135) gives it as the element in discussion here."
"The Old English Wēoh or Wīg means an idol or a shrine (Smith 1956 Vol.  
2p.254), with the latter form considered to have appeared later than the  
"The modern form is now a field name (Mawer & Stenton 1930 p.310) on  the 
boundary of the parishes of Patcham and Stanmer. The personal name of Pæccel  
Peccel attached to this 'shrine' is thought to be the same as that in  
Patching. Though no remains of such a shrine have been found, it has been  
that some Romano-British buildings just to the north at Rocky Clump  are the 
remains of a shrine remembered in this name (Gorton & Yeates 1988  p.9). Though 
this idea is generally discredited due to lack of archaeological  evidence, 
more recent excavations have turned up two pits, one containing an ox  skull 
laid on a bed of winkle and mussel shells, the other a sheep skull on a  bed of 
oyster shells (Funnell 2000 p.1). Similar deposits have been found in the  
Romano-British shrine building at Muntham Court (Burstow & Holleyman 1957  
but also in more mundane circumstances where a similar deposit was found  in 
an Early Iron-Age grain storage pit at Findon Park (Fox & Wolseley 1928  
"This spot in the parish of East Hoathly is shown on modern Ordnance Survey  
maps as Old Whyly. While Mawer & Stenton (1930 p.401) suggest this as  
deriving from the element in discussion, Gelling (1987 p.111) says it as likely 
have derived from Welig (willow). The early forms are not conclusive."
"The modern Whiligh and Little Whiligh lie in the parish of Ticehurst near  
the boundary with Wadhurst in East Sussex. Mawer & Stenton (1930 p.454) give  
the same derivation for this name as that of Whyly above. However the old forms 
 are more sound and Gelling (1987 p.111) gives it the thumbs up."
"Þunor (Thunor) is the Saxon equivalent of the Scandinavian Þórr (Thor) and  
from the place name evidence, seems to have been worshipped only in Saxon 
areas  (Smith 1956 Vol. 2 p.217). It has been generally thought that places 
containing  the word thunder related to this teutonic god, and while this may 
be the 
case  with some names, others show this not to be the case, such as with 
Thunders Hill  (TQ552132) in the parish of Chiddingly, which is the site of a 
house occupied by  a family by the name of Thunder (Lower 1862 p.232)." 
"This sacred grove of Thunor is located somewhere on the bounds of  Barnhorne 
manor (TQ707077) near Bexhill (Gelling 1987 p.107), given to Bishop  Oswald 
by King Offa of Mercia in 772. According to the charter, the grove is  located 
along a stream that leads to the salt marshes Barker 1947 p.94). This is  very 
uncertain as the coastline and marshes have changed dramatically over time,  
but is possible that this is 'Coles Stream' and 'Crooked Ditch'. The  
Thornneslond entry above is a name found somewhere in the same parish, and is  
probably quite unrelated, but is presented here as a possible later form of the 
"Thundersbarrow Hill lies within the Downs north of Shoreham in West  Sussex. 
The features that probably give the hill its name lie on the southern  summit 
of the hill (TQ229084) and include a Barrow and an enclosed settlement.  
Though the current form would indicate the site has been named after the 
which is the generally accepted view, the word borough recorded in 1801 could  
derive from either a barrow or a fortified place, both of which are present 
on  the hill. Only earlier forms will decide which word the second element of 
the  name is derived from, along with whether the site is named after Thunor at 
all.  It should also be noted here that some lynchets on the south side of 
the hill  are known as Thunders Steps (Gurd & Jacobs 1924 p.83). Coates (1980 
p.316)  considers the name possibly relates to Thunor pending the discovery of 
earlier  forms. The enclosure, when excavated, produced dating evidence from 
the early  Iron-Age to the Romano-British period (Curwen & Curwen 1930 
p.258,Burstow  1942 p.192)."
"The Goddess Friga is the Germanic equivalent of the Scandinavian Freyja,  
and has also given us the name of the fifth day of the week, Friday (Frīg-dæg). 
Places associated with the goddess are few and far between in England as a  
whole, though the word Friday appears to be quite common. While this may be  
taken as an indication of a site sacred to the goddess, having the day in a  
place-name probably indicates a different meaning. Smith (1956 Vol. 1 p.187)  
suggests that because Friday was sometimes a day of fasting, that the word in a 
place-name could be taken to mean unproductive land, and also suggests a  
connection with shunned or out of the way places. Certainly there are some  
'Friday Streets' that have been found on boundaries, away from settlements  
1982 p.277), and cases where they apparently refer to a small group of  houses 
away from the main settlement (Mawer & Stenton 1930 p.446). Both of  these 
apply to a Friday Street near Langney, East Sussex (TQ621037). There are  
further examples near Cuckfield (Mawer & Stenton 1930 p.266, and Horsham  
(Mawer & 
Stenton 1929 p.229). A Friday's East (frigedæges) lies on the same  boundary as 
Patchway near Stanmer (Barker 1947 p.86). While not accepting these  names as 
Pagan in origin, I am including here one further case in detail, more  for 
its situation and folkloric connections than a sound set of early  forms."
"On Barpham Hill (TQ086099) on the South Downs west of Findon in West  
Sussex, there are two features named Friday's Church and Friday's Well. The  
of these actually represents a group of barrows, now ploughed out, while  the 
second is a clay lined depression, once a pond but now dry. The name in this  
case is not known before 1896 (Collyer 1986 p.181) and was later suggested to 
be  a derivation from the name of the deity (Curwen & Curwen 1922 p.27). Of  
several barrows or possible barrows on the hill, it is said of one of them (it  
is uncertain which) that 'Queen Fridias is buried here' (Barr-Hamilton 1980  
p.171. Folklore has given us another possible reason for the name of the place, 
 according to one shepherd, "We call it Friday's Church because the Romans 
were  supposed to have had a temple there, but the Ordnance map gives it as 
Wepham  Down" (Sharp 1929 p.588). Interestingly, Roman coins and large 
of  Romano-British pottery were found associated with cremations put into two 
of the  Bronze-Age barrows in the Romano-British period, though more pot was 
found than  would have been associated with the cremations themselves 
(Barr-Hamilton 1980  p.177). On the meaning of 'church' in the name, Coates 
p.277,1982b p.298)  gives a possible derivation from the Old Welsh Crūc 
(hill/barrow/mound), though  British names are rare in Sussex. Another 
possibility is 
the site was associated  with Good Friday games, similar to those seen at the 
Hove Barrow (Simpson 1973  p.112)."
"The Germanic god Wōden corresponds to the Scandinavian Óðin and is  
represented by two very suspect cases in Sussex, both with the same modern form 
the name, Wootton. Mawer & Stenton (1930 p.300,p.412) give the derivation  of 
both from Wūdu (wood) rather than from the name of the god."
"Wootton Farm (TQ380151) lies just to the east of East Chiltington in the  
parish of that name in East Sussex. While the earliest form certainly 
 Wūdu (Mawer & Stenton 1930 p.300), the second entry from the Domesday Book,  
which represents a manor, is odd in the fact that it looses the W in from and 
 changes either to the element representing the god or the suffix -ingtūn 
before  reverting back in 1272 to the original form. The author entertains the 
idea that  the Domesday reference is for a separate place, though this is quite 
unlikely,  especially as a more intermediate form, Wodinton (Mawer 1934 p.22), 
was found  after the publication of the original survey and the DB reference, 
if  representing the god, would appear to use the Óðin element, which is  
Scandinavian rather than Germanic."
"Another manor house, this time in the parish of Folkington (TQ565052).  
Unfortunately the possibly interesting Wodinton from 1252 is even less 
than the other example of Wootton as the -ingtūn suffix is fairly uniform 
here,  leaving it pretty certain that this name derives from Wūdu (wood), 
the  earliest from from the Domesday Book, which may have suffered a similar  
corruption to the first case of Wooton above. The name is included here for  
completeness only."
"Unsurprisingly, the Hearg names are restricted to the Downland area, where  
these hilltop temple sites are most likely to be situated. Further from this,  
there does seem to be a concentration on the Downs and the low weald, which 
may  reflect the Saxon settlement pattern in this area of England. The 
situation of  many of these sites on boundaries of various sorts may be 
or may  just be down to the recording of these names in charters and other 
documents  dealing with the recording of boundaries. The existence of the Ōs 
and Wē
oh  elements predominantly in the Weald may represent an alternative to the 
use of  Hearg in the Downland areas, though there are not enough examples here 
to be  certain. The locations of these place names near evidence of 
Romano-British  ritual may also be significant, as has been shown in other 
counties. Any 
mention  of the god Tig or Tīw in Sussex is conspicuous in its absence and 
Wodin is not  well represented either. The principle god represented here, if 
all of the names  given are indeed correct, is Thunor, and this is echoed in 
neighbouring  counties of Surrey, which has Thunderfield near the border of 
Sussex along with  Thursley, and Hampshire, which has Thunreslea also quite 
near the Sussex border  (Gelling 1997 p.160). The three reasonably safe names 
Sussex and the possible  shrine site are confined to East Sussex, perhaps due 
to the existence of the See  of Selsey in West Sussex which would have had a 
greater Christianising influence  on the area than in East Sussex." 
"Going back to Romano-British times, East Sussex was then a bit of a  
cultural backwater, lacking the Romanising influence of a large town like  
Chichester, perhaps due to the Atrebatic tribal boundary ending at the Adur. As 
 well as 
the stone built temples of the Romano-British period being restricted to  the 
area west of the Adur, this is also true of the evidence for Romano-British  
Christianity in the county. Whilst the prevailing view has until recently been 
 that the Saxons wiped out any Romano-British culture in Sussex, this view is 
now  changing and the different cultural backdrops may have had an impact on 
the  different strengths of Saxon paganism in Sussex."
Barker, E. : Sussex Anglo-Saxon Charters, SAC Vol. 86 1947 Barr-Hamilton :  
The Excavation of two Bronze-Age Barrows at Friday's Church, Barpham Hill, SAC  
118 1980 Brandon, P. : The South Saxons, Phillimore 1978 Burstow, G.P. : 
Secrets  of Thundersbarrow, SCM Vol. 16, No. 7 1942
Burstow, G.P. & Holleyman,  G.A. : Excavations at Muntham Court..., ANL Vol. 
6, No. 10 1957 Butler, C. :  Saxon Settlement and Earlier Remains at Friars 
Oak..., Brit. Arch. Rep. Vol. 295  2000 Cameron, K. : Place-Name Evidence for 
the Anglo-Saxon Invasion..., English  Place-Name Society 1987
Coates, R. : Studies and Observations on Sussex  Place-Names, SAC Vol. 118 
1980 Coates, R. : Friday's Church, SASN 36 1982a  Coates, R. : Friday's Church 
Correction, SASN 37 1982b Collyer, H.C. : Proc.  of the Croydon Nat. Hist. 
Club, 1896 Curwen, E. & Curwen, E.C. : Notes on  the Archaeology of Burpham..., 
SAC Vol. 63 1922 Edwards : Companion from London  to Brighthelmstone, 1801 
(See SNQ 2 p.130) Fox, C. & Wolseley, G.R. : The  Early Iron Age Site at Findon 
Park, Findon, Sussex, Ant. J. Vol. 8 1928 Funnel,  J. : Excavations at Rocky 
Clump, Stanmer, Flint No. 43 Spring 2000) Gelling, M.  : Further Thoughts on 
Pagan Place-Names, in Cameron 1987 Gelling, M. : Signposts  to the Past, 
Phillimore 1997 Glover, J. : Sussex Place-Names Countryside Books  1997\ 
W.C.L. & Yeates, C.W. : Rocky Clump Stanmer, A Forgotton  Shrine? Stanmer 
Preservation Soc. 1988 Gurd, R. & Jacobs, W.J. : Surveys of  Thundersbarrow 
Camp and 
Thunder's Steps, Brighton & Hove Archaeologist 1924  Holleyman, G. : Harrow 
Excavations, 1936, SAC Vol. 78 1937 Lower, M.A. :  Parochial History of 
Chiddingly, SAC Vol. 14 1862 Mawer, A & Stenton, F.M. :  The Place-Names of 
(2 vols), Cambridge U.P. 1929 & 1930 Rubin, S. :  The Phonology of the Middle 
English Dialect of Sussex, Lund 1951 Sharp, R.J. :  "Friday" in Place Names, 
SCM Vol.3, No. 8 1929
Simpson, J. : The Folklore of  Sussex, Batsford 1973 Smith, A.H. : English 
Place-Name Elements (2 Vols), Cam.  U.P. 1956
Wilson, A.E. : The End of Roman Sussex and the Early Saxon  Settlements, SAC 
Vol. 82 1942
Sources For Early Forms AC : Ancient Charters (Pipe Roll Soc.) 1888 AD :  
Ancient Deeds in PRO Ass : Assize Rolls BCS : Birch, Cartularium Saxonicum
Ch  : Calendar of Charter Rolls Cicestr : Chichester Episcopal Registers (SRS 
4, 8,  11) Ct : Court Rolls in BM, PRO (Lambeth) and private possession
DB :  Domesday Book FA : Feudal Aids Fees : Book of Fees, 2 vols, 1922-3 FF : 
Feet of  Fines France : Calendar of Documents Preserved in France, 1899
G : Greenwood,  Map of Sussex 1823 Hailsham : L.F. Salzmann, The History of 
the Parish of  Hailsham, 1901 Hope : R.C. Hope, Glossary of dialectal 
place-nomenclature, 1883  Inq adq : Inquisitiones ad quod damnum, 1803 Ipm : 
of Inquisitions post  Mortem IpmR : Inquisitions post mortem (Record 
Commission) KCD : Kemble, Codex  Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici, 6 vols, 1839-48 
Lewes : 
Lewes Cartulary LibE :  Registers in the possesion of the Bishop of Chichester 
LRMB : Miscellaneous  Books of Land Revenue Pat : Calendar of Patent Rolls
Pens : HMC Report on MSS  preserved at Penhurst Place PR : Pipe Rolls RH : 
Rotuli Hundredorum, ed. J.  Thorpe, 1769 SAC : Sussex Archaeological 
SNQ : Sussex Notes &  Queries SR : Subsidy Rolls SRS : Sussex Record Society 
TA : Tithe  Awards


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