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Hidden meanings behind the names of Wales’ fields revealed in new book

28 Mar 2022 2 minute read
Cerdded y Caeau

The hidden meanings behind the names of Wales’ fields will be revealed in a new book published his week.

Rhian Parry’s Cerdded y Caeau was a response to the growing interest in place names in Wales, the publishers said.

The hardback volume, illustrated with pictures and maps, is the culmination of a lifetime’s work studying place names in the Ardudwy area, but offers a pattern for anyone who wants to find out more about field names in their own area.

The volume developed from the author’s doctoral research and reveals how the meaning behind place names, farms and fields can bring together the landscape, local history and culture of Wales as a whole.

The results of Rhian Parry’s research showed that most farm and field names are very ancient, up to the age of six centuries and more.

“It is only by walking the fields that we can notice the features of the land and realize that the names chosen are entirely appropriate,” author Rhian Parry said.

“A name is more than a label. Some ancient names send chills down my spine, a feeling very similar to my encounter with a standing stone in the uplands of Ardudwy.”

The publishers said that place names of all kinds were under threat and disappearing very quickly.

They hoped that this volume, together with work by organizations such as the Welsh Place Names Society, will serve as a record for the future, reintroducing forgotten names and inspiring similar studies across Wales.

Cerdded y Caeau by Rhian Parry is on sale now (£19.99, Y Lolfa).

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2 years ago

Yet you couldn’t be bothered to provide an example!
2/10 must try harder

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 years ago

Will there be a translation, only I would love to send a copy to a friend over the border. I think this would be a great help to ‘educate’ the great many incomers to understand the reason for keeping the old name of your new cottage and the depth and beauty of the historical importance of names in the Welsh countryside. I have spent my life up until recently wandering through the thousands of years of history contained in the few square miles of Ardudwy…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Wales, dare I say it, Britain is a vast patchwork of ancient Welsh placename’s when this island was ours.

The names etched verbally onto this land & coastline tell us of our Cymry ancestors thought process millenia ago. From Aberdeen in the North to Torquay in the South. Cadair Idris in the West to Kent in the East.

All mentioned have their root in the Welsh. We lose our language, we lose our history and its meaning.

Last edited 2 years ago by Y Cymro

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