Bravoniacum

Attested:  AI iter 2 Brovonacis; ND Braboniaco; inscription BRAVNIACO; probably not RC Ravonia.

Where:  Roman fort at Kirkby Thore NY63082560, in Westmorland on the A66 road through Stainmore Pass, where there seems to have been a substantial Roman town.

Name origin: The name begins like German brauen or OE breowan ‘to brew’ or Welsh brwd ‘fervent’, from PIE *bhreuɘ- ‘to boil, to bubble’.  That probably referred to a marshy area, whose likely extent can be guessed from modern maps of flood risk there due to the river Eden.  The name survives in parts of the village called Burwens Hill and Burwain Terrace, and also in Gaelic braonach ‘dewy, wet, well-watered’.  Bravonio (Leintwardine) is analogous.

Notes:  The name also survived in the phrase kat gellawr Brewyn ‘the battle in the huts of Brewyn’, mentioned by a Welsh poem in the Book of Taliesin (ms from 1300s, text centuries earlier).  This battle was fought around AD 580 by king Urien of Rheged, a post-Roman kingdom in this area, which was eventually swallowed up by Northumbria.  The name was also grafted into the Historia Brittonum's list of Arthur's twelve battles a century or so earlier, as Breguoin, to be an alternative name for Agned, which was most likely Bolingbroke Castle in a topographically similar situation.  Kenneth Jackson misattributed Bravoniacum to Welsh breuan ‘quern’ and Brewyn to Bremenium.

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Last Edited: 21 September 2016