While investigating our local village names we noticed that the majority of villages with 'ham' in the name could
be found in valleys, this meant nothing really until we identified that the high tide mark in Saxon times was
around 5 metres above sea level see The magic 5 metre tide level page.
Once we had identified this sea level and as we live near to Hastings, we decided to plot the local villages and farms
containing ham and as you can see these locations fit very closely to the 5 metre sea level.
Right so what Saxon word can the ham part of the village name actually be translated into ?
If we now look at Saxon words we can identify a word hjem meaning home or to go home. This means that the
village or location was originally settled in valleys with sea access hence access to Home for the
Saxons who were mostly a seafaring tribe - in later years this derivation changed to mean near water.
Please click here to see the hams in the Tillingham and Rother valleys.