Attested: RC Coloneas in 2 manuscripts, Colonias in the third.
Where: Somewhere in northern Somerset, most likely at Congresbury, ST437639, which was near a Roman villa, a hillfort, beside which Roman remains have been found, and pottery kilns (such as this) (Rippon, 2008). This is up a river Yeo, in just the right sort of place for retired soldiers to manage industrial production and transport of food to the Roman legionary base at Caerleon directly across the Severn estuary.
Name origin: Based on Latin colonia ‘settlement’.
Notes: See the general discussion of ancient names in Somerset here. The name Congresbury has prompted much speculation. Its alleged foundation by Saint Congar sounds like monastic propaganda, as mythical as Wihtgar in the Isle of Wight or the discovery of “Arthur” at Glastonbury. Early forms, such as Cungaresbyrig, look like a compound of Cun- ‘channel or harbour works’ (surviving in modern Kent Road there and related to Cunetio), plus gar- (‘angular point’ or gore, as at Gariannonor), and byrig ‘city’. All that, plus modern flood risk maps of the area, point to a serious Roman port town at Congresbury.
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Last edited: 25 May 2018