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Viking Names

Great Rowsley

Great Rowsley, in the High Peak Hundred of Derbyshire, comes from either the Old Norse male personal name Hrólfr or the Old English male personal name Hroðwulf. The second element is Old English leah ‘A forest, wood, glade, clearing; (later) a pasture, meadow’, so if the first element is the Old Norse personal name then it is a hybrid place-name. The affix ‘great’ was a later addition to distinguish this Rowsley from Little Rowsley in the Darley Parish of the High Peak Hundred.

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Viking Objects

Coin of Cnut the Great (LEIC-4B7888)

This Short Cross Type silver penny was minted in the name of King Cnut between 1024 and 1030 in the Derby mint by the moneyer Swartinc. The location of discovery is unknown. Minting coins was a way of controlling the means of exchange within a kingdom and which created a more easily administered standardized system of trade. Moreover, the coins themselves were often used as propaganda, portaying symbols and statements that gave off a desired message. The Vikings later used the minting of coins to legitimize their own rule.

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Viking Names

Gonalston

Gonalston, in the Thurgarton Wapentake of Nottinghamshire, comes from the Old Norse male personal name Gunnolfr and the Old English tun ‘farm, settlement’. It is thus a hybrid name, like Toton.

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Viking Names

Maplebeck

Maplebeck, in the Thurgarton Wapentake of Nottinghamshire, is an Anglo-Scandinavian compound formed from Old English mapel ‘a maple tree’ and Old Norse bekkr ‘a stream, a beck’

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Viking Names

Sibthorpe

Sibthorpe, in the Newark Wapentake of Nottinghamshire, comes from either the Old English male personal name Sibba or the Old Norse male personal name Sibbi and Old Norse þorp ‘a secondary settlement, a dependent outlying farmstead or hamlet’.

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Viking Names

Rolleston

Rolleston, in the Thurgarton Wapentake of Nottinghamshire, comes from the Old Norse male personal name Hróaldr and the Old English element tun ‘farm, settlement’. It is thus a hybrid name like others nearby, such as Gonalston.

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Viking Objects

Coin of Cnut the Great (LEIC-3E8CC4)

This silver Helmet IIIc Type penny was minted for King Cnut of England in London. The obverse inscription reads CNVTREXANG while the obverse reads EADPOLD ON LVND. Minting coins was a way of controlling the means of exchange within a kingdom and which created a more easily administered standardized system of trade. Moreover, the coins themselves were often used as propaganda, portaying symbols and statements that gave off a desired message. The Vikings later used the minting of coins to legitimize their own rule.

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Viking Names

Barni

An Old Norse male name Barni is not certainly found in Scandinavia, although it may be attested in some Danish place-names. An alternative explanation is that Barni is an Anglo-Scandinavian variant of the very common male name Bjarni. The name forms the first element of two places in Nottinghamshire called Barnby.

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Viking Names

Sumarlidi

Sumarliði is originally a byname meaning ‘summer-traveller’. Although it has also been suggested that it is a variation on Vetrliði ‘a bear in its second year’, the close association of the name with the Viking diaspora supports the ‘summer-traveller’ meaning. These names likely arose in the Atlantic islands as there is one instance of Sumarliði from the early tenth century attributed to a man of Scottish birth, and several from the time of settlement in Iceland (c. 870-930). It does not appear until late in Norway, but there are several instances after c. 1320. The name is found in runic coin legends as the name of a moneyer operating in the Danish town of Lund between 1065 and 1075 – many of the moneyers in Lund actually came from England, where the name is relatively common. Sumarliði is also found in a place-name in Normandy. Sumarliði is the first element in three instances of the place-name Somerby, and one of Somersby, Lincolnshire, and the name is also frequently reported independently as a personal name in Domesday Book for Lincolnshire.

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Viking Objects

Clench Nail (NLM-2FC690)

Clench nails were used in clinker-style ship-building from the 7th century to the 15th and also for domestic purposes, in which clench nails might appear where ship timber has been reused. Clinker ship-building involved building the ship’s hull first out of layered planks attached to the keel and held together using clench nails. Clinker-built boats and ships are particularly associated with the Vikings.

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Viking Names

Gyda

Gyða appears early in Norway and is frequent there but it is not as common in Iceland. It appears in two Danish runic inscriptions and is common in other Danish sources. The name also appears in a few Swedish runic inscriptions and is found in later Swedish sources. Gyða is also attested in medieval documents from Lincolnshire and Domesday Book for Yorkshire. The name is a pet form of Gyríðr and it has been suggested that it was borrowed from England because several of the oldest carriers of the name appear to be of mixed Nordic and English origin.  

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