Gabaglanda

Attested:  RC Gabaglanda in a sequence of names that appear to follow the Stanegate road

WhereHaltwhistle Burn fortlet at NY71446615.  Aesica fort lies a little to the north on Hadrian's Wall and several Roman camps are nearby.

Name originGabaglanda was not a corruption of Camboglanna (as discussed at length here), but can be analysed as a distinct name in its own right, accurately describing the situation of the fortlet on the edge of Haltwhistle Burn.  The –glanda ending meant something like ‘bank’ (as seen in Glannoventa and discussed under Giano and Camboglanna) but that leaves some Celtic scholars unhappy because they feel pulled by Gaelic gleann ‘glen’ and cannot see a clear PIE root.  The Gaba- part might descend from PIE *ghai- ‘to gape, to yawn’, but more likely from PIE *gab- ‘to show, to watch’, which had plenty of descendants in Germanic languages, such as OE capian ‘to look’, and also in Balto-Slavonic.

Notes:  The landscape here has been disturbed by post-Roman quarrying, but aerial photos show how Gabaglanda sat on the edge of a chasm and one can readily surmise how it was superseded by construction of Hadrian's Wall.  There is an interesting parallel in Ptolemy's Γαβαιον promontory in Brittany, whose precise identity has never been settled (Penmarch, Corsen, etc?), but for a gaping gap either the huge inlet leading to Brest or the little one next to Pointe de Kermorvan might suit.

Standard terms of use:You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last Edited: 13 September 2017