Protecting the Place Names of Wales

30 October 2019: Kerry Workshop

It’s always lovely to travel to Montgomeryshire and especially to the old commote and village of Kerry. The busy little village is about three miles south-east of Newtown.
It was great to be invited by one of our members, Carrie White, and the Kerry Local Historians, to come and run a place-name workshop. When we arrived at the lovely village hall, we had plenty of space to set up our equipment to give a presentation on our work as a Society and what we can offer communities like Kerry.
Carrie and her husband Jeremy brought a valuable collection of photographs of houses in the area taken at the beginning of the last century. The collection was found in a box in a local attic; the pictures were on glass slides. Sadly, the slides had no names and couldn’t be archived in the National Library without them. They both put on an exhibition to get information on the locations from local people and then searched the parish to find the remainder. The names were added to the slides and all were archived successfully. Black and white prints of the pictures and historical explanations were displayed along one side of the hall and we had the opportunity to wander over during lunch and enjoy the collection.
Over forty people came to record names and chat. We welcomed the cups of tea and homemade cakes served by volunteers.
Our presentation provided a chance for us to discuss some field names from the parish Tithe list and be amazed at the mix of Welsh and English names, sometimes on the same farm. In the middle of English names ancient Welsh names appeared, such as Swch, Maes, Mays y Crunney (Maes y Gryniau), Pant Shone, Cae Gwaldon, Cae Rhewl, and others corrupted over time, such as Cae Malin and Cyah field. This was followed by an opportunity for people to record names on our large-scale 25 inches to the mile maps and have a chat.
Carrie and her group intend to continue recording names with our support.