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.
As you can see the Hams still seem to cluster near the Brede, Tillingham, and Rother Valleys,
in Roman times Bodiam on the Rother was Tidal.
Please click here for the previous HAM map which we believe proves that a ham is
a village near water. Please click here for more HAM maps.