Attested: Lavatris on iter 2 and Levatris on iter 5 of the Antonine Itinerary; Lavaris at position 135 of the Ravenna Cosmography; Lavatres in the Notitia Dignitatum where the Praefectus numeri exploratorum was based.
Where: Roman fort at NY99251345, next to Bowes Castle and the river Greta.
Name origin: See here about L-vowel-V names. The map below (screen-captured from Google Maps 3D) shows how the Roman fort, and later Norman castle, controlled the bottleneck of the main travel route across the Pennines, sitting in lower ground than the rather bleak Stainmore Pass. The -tris part is just a Latin adjectival ending, making Lavatris mean essentially ‘lippy’!
Notes: The way that stretches of the river Greta can vanish underground in hot weather makes it a candidate to be an ‘intermittent stream’, like lavant, but this no longer seems like the best explanation.
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Last edited 3 June 2021 To main Menu