Concangis

Attested:  ND Concangios (twice);  RC Coganges (or Ceganges).  Manuscripts of the Life of St Cuthbert (who died in 687) mention Anglo-Saxon forms (messily reported in secondary sources) spelled Cuncacaestir and Kuncacester.

Where:  Roman fort at Chester-le-Street, Durham, at NZ27585131, by the tidal limit of the river Wear where the Cong Burn flows in.

Name origin:  R&S called this “a difficult name”, but no one seems to have drawn attention to Welsh caing ‘branch’.  It is debatable whether that came from: PIE *kak1- ‘to jump’ or *kak2- ‘branch’ or *kenk- ‘to drop’ and how it relates to English hang and Hengest, but Concangis was a place where several watery branches came together and were probably altered by Roman engineers.

Notes:  Chester-le-Street was the home of Raymond Selkirk, whose 1995 book has a diagram on p245 of the likely layout of water channels around the fort, which he called “a typical example of a river-supplied site”.  One inscription found there may refer to construction of a water supply by soldiers from Asturia, who were probably native Celtic speakers.  The river Wear, upstream from Concangis as well as downstream, may have been important for the transport of heavy lead ingots.

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Last Edited: 2 December 2016