Attested: Regulbi and Regulbio in the Notitia Dignitatum
Where: The Reculver, Kent, Roman fort of the Saxon Shore, at TR228693, around which ships would turn into the Thames estuary after passing through the Wantsum Channel and avoiding the much more difficult course around the end of Thanet.
Name Origin: PIE *reig- ‘to reach, to stretch out’ contributed to many early place names, but most relevant here is the sailing term reach, meaning to hold a straight course for a while. PIE *kwelp- ‘to arch’ led to many Germanic words including English whelve ‘to overturn’, to Greek κολπος, Ptolemy's usual word for ‘bay’, to a Latin precursor of gulf, and possibly to Breton golvan ‘sparrow’ via early Celtic words for ‘beak’.
Notes: The coastline has changed since Roman times. A church built inside the remains of the fort is now perched beside the sea, after erosion of over a kilometre of land to its north. In contrast, the old shipping channel to its east has completely silted up and is now represented by mere field-edge drainage ditches.
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Last edited 24 October 2022 To main Menu.