Sussex Saxons - the landing point of Aelle in Sussex in 477AD

Anglo Saxon
History
Map Position

This map shows the position of locations containing '477AD' centered on Steyning in Sussex.

Map Logic

Sussex Saxons - the landing point of Aelle in Sussex in 477AD.

The forest of Andredsweald is shown, which was impassable except where Roman Roads or rivers cut through it.

Roman roads are shown in black plotted from Ivan D Margary 'Roman Roads in Britain' published in 1955.

The red roads are taken from Ivan D Margary 'Roman ways in the Weald' published in 1948.

The Blue lines show the extent of the tidal rivers with the blue shaded areas showing tidal salt marshes as it would have been in Saxon times.

The purple line joins the two settlements of Lancing and Shoreham.


 
Icon Key:
Village Farm/House
 

Extract from the Anglo Saxon Chronicles 477AD

Original :- Her cuom Ælle on Bretenlond ⁊ his .iii. suna, Cymen ⁊ Wlenca ⁊ Cissa, mid .iii. scipum on þa stowe þe is nemned Cymenesora, ⁊ þær ofslogon monige Wealas ⁊ sume on fleame bedrifon on þone wudu þe is genemned Andredesleage.

Translation :- In 477AD Aelle came to Britain with his three sons Cymen, Wlenca and Cissa with three ships landing at the place called Cymensora. There he killed many Welsh and drove some in flight into the forest of Andredsweald.

Cymensora has never been officially identified anywhere in Sussex, Hampshire or The Isle of White, but we believe that Cymensora(Cymens shore) was settled and as it is in a valley on the coast would have been called Cymensora ham (ham appears to be a settlement in a valley or with access to home [hjem]) which could then be shortened to Soraham by removing Cymen finally to Shoreham.

If he landed at Shoreham and killed the Welsh(this meant foreigners to the Saxons) and drove them into Andredsweald it would seem likely that the Welsh escaped using the Roman Road to Portslade, then again on an old Roman road up through present day Pyecombe and Hassocks and into the Weald heading towards London, or more likely that they escaped up the Roman Road to Hassocks then west along the Roman Road through Pulborough and thence to Chichester the main center in Sussex during Roman times.

On the other side of the River Adur is Lancing which appears to be derived from "Wlanca ing" which translates to "the fort built by Wlanca", this would appear to confirm that Aelle landed at Shoreham pushed the Welsh to the East, and set up a bridgehead fort on the other side of the Estuary to control access to and from the sea via the Adur.

Another factor is that the Welsh were driven into the Weald this means that he could only have landed between Rye and Havant as the forest of Andredleage only spread from Rye in the east to Havant in the west (see our Andredsweald pages), and a later Anglo Saxon Chronicle entry states that Port landed at Portsmouth. It would have been unlikely that he could have landed between Rye and Pevensey, as other documents place the Hastingeas in that area.

Therefore he must have landed in the Arun, Adur, Ouse or Cuckmere valleys as cliffs would have made it awkward to land anywhere else, the mid point between the Hæstingas/Haestingas/Hastingeas/Hestingorum and Port would have been the Adur valley.

Current translation for Steyning
  steyn derived from stenen - stoney - probably a roman road milestone or builders stone
  ing derived from nering - to protect(fortified) - appears to show border posts as the Saxons expand.
Place name translation provided by www.saxonhistory.co.ukClick here to use this translation on your website


External References in no particular order :-
Original Manuscripts of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Roman Britain.org
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion

 

Copyright saxonhistory.co.uk 2013 - 2017
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Author: Simon M       Document Created: 2017-07-11
Data is derived from a number or sources including the Ordnance Survey Gazetter data overlayed onto Google Maps