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‘Old England’, Brentford

  • R. E. M. Wheeler

Whether Brentford was at one time Brigantford, or the ford of the Brigantes, is a question which the modern etymologist would not hesitate to scorn; nor is the identity of the site with the ford whereat conquering Caesar crossed the river on a celebrated occasion as substantial as the granite monument which now commemorates the event at the head of the ferry-stairs. Nor yet again is the name ‘Old England’, which the Ordnance Survey ascribes to the water-meadow on the Middlesex shore some 400 yards above the present junction of Thames and Brent, of authenticated antiquity. Nevertheless here and hereabouts, as our museums can show, was a great losing of swords and spears in prehistoric times, and here too, as we now know, were riverside dwellers at the end of the Bronze Age and, again, in Roman and later times. The name ‘Old England’ may stand.

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1. See Archaeologia, LXXVII, 179.

2. For a discussion of this point see the report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments on Roman London (1928), 13 ff.

3. Bulleid, and Gray, , Glastonbury Lake Village, (1911–17), 1, 56.

4. Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, South-East Essex, (1923 38.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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