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Monday, 16 October 2017

Shut Your North and South (or - My Kingdom for a Norse)

In the category of "Exciting News Only a Guardian Reporter Wouldn't Know is Old News..."

A historian has discovered that the divide between North and South may go all the way back to Viking days.

Let's have a think.

"Husborne Crawley."  Anglo-Saxon from start to finish.

"Derby". Danish.

Blimey. It works.

If only everybody else in the whole of history hadn't known about this before, it would be absolutely amazing. Except, in the broad sense, we all did.

Watford Gap, by the way, the place that he claims has a historical role going all the way back. totally fails as a place that divides the two.

"Watford", the village after which the Gap is named - is Anglian.

To the West are Kilsby, Barby,  Willoughby, Ashby - all Norse. Should be Saxon, according to this theory. Even Rugby is south-west of the Watling Street, for pity's sake.

To the East - sure, there's Long Buckby. But also the Haddons (Anglian), Winwick (Anglian), and - to the North East where they should definitely be all-Viking - the fantastically-named Yelvertoft. Anglian "Yelver", Norse "toft".

Proving that (a) life is always more complex than simple rules and (b) there are no measures historians won't go to, to get a grant.

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A queue of people at the vicarage door, holding letters. The vicar is hiding behind the curtains.
Writes of the Church - On sale now and perfect for Christmas


  1. I can almost see Yelvertoft through my living room window, but it gives me a Crick in the neck.

  2. I was not convinced by Watling Street as dividing North from South. It puts Cambridge in the North! The data revealed on house prices compared with inflation shows a different divide between the south-east and north-west. Looking at the map in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41582755 there is a clear boundary. And it runs along another Roman Road - the Fosse Way.

    Can I get a grant, please?


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