Allcroft

The Circle and the Cross by A. Hadrian Allcroft is a very important book that was published as two volumes in 1927 and 1930.  Many top place-name researchers appear not to have read it, perhaps because Allcroft died before the second volume was published.  The central (linguistic) message to draw from this book is that there was an ancient word with a fundamental meaning of ‘circle’, from PIE *(s)ker- ‘to turn’, whose many descendants in English include chorus, church, circus, curia, kirk, (hay)rick, ridge, and ring.  Welsh has crug ‘hillock, barrow’, from which devotees of the all-ancient-Britons-spoke-Celtic theory have drawn two false conclusions: that cruc (and similar forms) in early names necessarily represented a mound and was a marker for Celtic speech.  Allcroft was expert in classical languages, but also knew more about ancient earthworks across the British Isles than anyone before or since.  His core point in this book is that the churchyard preceded the church, because from deep in Indo-European history people felt a religious duty to erect a (roughly) circular mound or ringwork to honour dead ancestors.

You need to be downright obsessive to read all 800-odd pages, and even more to scan it all, but we plan to try.  Watch this space....

        Title Chapter   Page   Scan
  The Circular Churchyard  1  1pdf
  The Round Barrow  2  15pdf
  Evolution of the Sepulchral Ring  3  24pdf
  Origin of the Sepulchral Ring  4  58pdf
  The Achean Moot  5  80 pdf
  The Latin Moot  6  102pdf
  The Danish Moot  7  122pdf
  The Circles of Aberdeenshire   8  136pdf
  The Circus in Britain   9  172pdf or pdf
  Moot Circles of the British Isles, etc.  10  214pdf
  The Date of the Stone Circles  11  259pdf
  The Nordic Peoples  12  281pdf
  Druidism  12  308pdf
  The Cimbri and Their Kindred  14  316pdf
  The Mound Moot  15  341pdf
  The Conversion of Ireland and England  16  1pdf
  Ireland  17  13pdf
  Ireland (continued)  18  42pdf
  Wales  19  76pdf
  Wales (continued)  20  119pdf
  Saxon Paganism  21  148pdf
  Rome and Iona  22  175pdf
  The First Churches  23  210pdf
  Ciric  24  247pdf
  God's Acre  25  293pdf
  Secular Uses of the Church  26  333pdf
  Secular Uses of the Church (continued)  27  352pdf
  The Derivation of the Word Church  28  382pdf