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The Serpent's Tale (History)
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aurelius



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Mick Harper

Well, now we know 'treacle' is important. Surely there cannot have been such a thing as treacle as early as 1610. To get 'treacle' into popular discourse means molasses and that means a sugar industry and there wasn't one at this time. Was there?


Taffi Triog is Welsh for treacle toffee.

As an aside, the word toffee is comparatively new (19th century), and in Wales the sweet would have been known as cyflaith, ffanni, and most commonly taffi (taffy).


This suggests to me that the C19th change of the 'chapel' name to St Twrog could have been an attempt to make sense of a lost meaning; in the confusion caused by the translation of 'treacle''(the Welsh 'triog',) the vicinity, rock and ruin had finally become attributed to an irrelevant mythological 'saint':

Monmouthshire's status was somewhat ambiguous between the 16th and 20th centuries, with it considered by some as part of England and others as part of Wales prior to 1974...the Laws in Wales Act 1535 integrated Wales directly into the English legal system and the "Lordships Marchers within the said Country or Dominion of Wales" were allocated to existing and new shires. Some lordships were annexed to existing counties in England and some were annexed to existing counties in Wales, with the remainder being divided up into new counties, one of which was Monmouthshire.

Although the original Act of 1535 specifically includes Monmouthshire as being in the "Country or Dominion of Wales", the Laws in Wales Act 1542 enumerates the Welsh counties as twelve in number, omitting Monmouthshire from the count. Monmouthshire was made directly responsible to the courts of Westminster rather than falling under the Court of Great Sessions in Wales. According to historian John Davies, this arrangement was the origin of the belief that the county had been annexed by England rather than remaining part of Wales.


The Trickle-The Treakle-St Treacle (Glos)-Tecla-Rioc/Triog-St Twrog.

It seems unlikely now that Speed's (John Speed, 1552-1629) 'The Treacle' could reference either the black toffee or a St Tecla, although -

During the medieval era, Arab entrepreneurs adopted sugar production techniques from India and expanded the industry. Medieval Arabs in some cases set up large plantations equipped with on-site sugar mills or refineries. The cane sugar plant, which is native to a tropical climate, requires both a lot of water and a lot of heat to thrive. The cultivation of the plant spread throughout the medieval Arab world using artificial irrigation. Sugar cane was first grown extensively in medieval Southern Europe during the period of Arab rule in Sicily beginning around the 9th century known as the Emirate of Sicily .[20][21] In addition to Sicily, Spain which at the time was known as Al-Andalus was an important center of sugar production [22] beginning in the 9th century.[23] Sugar was exported throughout Europe.


Though a high end item, if sugar was being refined, the English may have been aware of the residue and used the term 'treacle', but this doesn't make a lot of sense in the context of an area of the Severn off the Beachley coast. 'Trickle' is better, in one sense in that it describes a thin or slow stream. The Severn is ridden with treacherous shifting sandbanks but at the pinch point between Beachley and Aust the deeper channel is on the Beachley side, running close to its shore and Chapel Rock. Here, at low tide, the Severn would be a relatively thin stream.

Chapel Rock - an ideal place to control access to the Welsh side and take a toll, hence its wealth well into 1500s.
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Mick Harper
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'Trickle' is better, in one sense in that it describes a thin or slow stream.

'Thin' and 'slow' streams are highly significant in river navigation. Thin denotes deep and slow denotes an easy passage, slack water or whatever. We need Borry and his coracle on the job.
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Hatty
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Going back a mo to if / juif... Montjuic in Catalan is 'Jewish mountain'. The Barcelona mountain conveniently produced a Jewish cemetery and was said to be the foundation spot of the city but is likely to be a slag heap. (Girona which is also a centre of mining was renowned for a kabbalistic Jewish school in the twelfth century and has a Montjuic of its own.)

It makes 'Iwes' ('Yew tree') headland more questionable as Tidenham quarry, now disused, is just up the road. The etymology is uncertain but Wiki says 'juic' is thought to be Jove, or Iove in Latin. You may be right about yew being a world tree.
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aurelius



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Hatty wrote:


It makes 'Iwes' ('Yew tree') headland more questionable as Tidenham quarry, now disused, is just up the road. The etymology is uncertain but Wiki says 'juic' is thought to be Jove, or Iove in Latin. You may be right about yew being a world tree.


Up the road from Beachley yes, but the headland referred to is up the Wye. Don't even know if Beachley has a headland...

The boundary began at Yewtree Headland, the neck of land on the Wye opposite Tintern where the woods still contained many yews in 1969, ran on to the Stone Row, and then to White Hollow (Hwitan Heal), a name which survives in Whitewalls,
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aurelius



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The Beachley peninsula is only about 10m above sea level, & merely has a few lines of trees and hedgerows, whereas the promontory opposite Tintern has cliffs, the top of which is a densely wooded part of the Forest of Dean even today. Yews included.
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Hatty
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Isn't Jove of interest to you? The official word-origin of ewe is that "it comes from Latin iovis" so there does appear to be a connection or elision between y(j)ew and ewe not only in English.
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Wile E. Coyote


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The Yew predates the Church.

So Yews were there prior to the church or earlier circular monuments.

There is then forest clearance, of ancient yews.

Maybe originally the Yews were originally cleared to mark out an avenue to a monument? This avenue tradition declined as the wood became used up, more scarce, the landscape becomes more settled, so within the landscape monuments were marked (or were left) with a symbolic single yew, where previously you would have a cleared avenue?
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Mick Harper
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I thought we had established that yews are inimical to the growth of other trees, and therefore one yew would naturally form a circular forest clearing. Jack the Ripper spelt Jews as Iwes.
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aurelius



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Wile E. Coyote wrote:
The Yew predates the Church.

So Yews were there prior to the church or earlier circular monuments.quote]


Which yew are you talking about, Wile? Or yews in general?

It is hard to prove they predate the oldest churches, though I too suspect some are more ancient.
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Mick Harper
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It's even harder to date the churches!
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Wile E. Coyote


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aurelius wrote:

Which yew are you talking about, Wile? Or yews in general?

It is hard to prove they predate the oldest churches, though I too suspect some are more ancient.


This is the oldest (until) Auro locates a older yew forest in Europe.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2000/oct/07/unitedkingdom
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Mick Harper
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Pal Svensson has sent us this for all you Dogger freaks (I can't remember where the discussions about it are)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43711762
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
Pal Svensson has sent us this for all you Dogger freaks (I can't remember where the discussions about it are)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43711762


https://blog.everythingdinosaur.co.uk/blog/_archives/category/geology
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aurelius



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Boreades
PostPosted: 8:27 pm Post subject:
Mick Harper wrote:
Pal Svensson has sent us this for all you Dogger freaks (I can't remember where the discussions about it are)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43711762


https://blog.everythingdinosaur.co.uk/blog/_archives/category/geology


Both very welcome, given a recent interest in the former and an almost lifelong interest in the latter. Though I haven't had a Quest Group notification about Borry's post yet!
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