Attested: Verometo on iter 6 and Vernemeto on iter 8 of the Antonine Itinerary
Where: At or near the Roman crossroads settlement around SK649252 near Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire.
Name origin: The element nemeton ‘sanctuary’ meant a space allocated to the gods, often at tribal boundaries, from PIE *nem- ‘to assign’, as discussed under Nemetotatio. Ver- probably came from PIE *per- ‘to pass over/beyond’. The root *nem- and the prefix ver- have developed much more in Germanic languages than in Celtic.
Notes: Around AD 570, Venantius Fortunatus (Carmina 1,9) wrote about a church, formerly called Vernemetis, which meant fanum ingens ‘great sanctuary’ in the Gallic language, which was probably at Agen, on a hillside overlooking the river Garonne in southern France. That interpretation is often described as “Celtic”, but the Nemetes tribe were Germanic. The Slavic name for Germans (Немец etc) is suspiciously close, but is usually explained (not entirely credibly) as meaning ‘mute’.
These particular Wolds are “a remote and rolling rural landscape ... In medieval times, the area was well populated and ... Extensive ancient earthworks can be seen around some of the present villages”. No one has yet identified what might have constituted a Roman-era temple site, and the area around Willoughby is unusually devoid of prehistoric traces, but if the place name Wysall, 5 km NW, is derived from Old English weoh ‘heathen temple’ it is reasonable to suspect that some sort of henge was destroyed by Christian farmers. There was a tumulus (now destroyed and about which Pastscape is very dismissive) at Cross Hill SK64922520. One interesting geographical feature in that area lies 4 km south where eight parish boundaries radiate like spokes of a wheel from the crossroads at SK644208, now called Six Hills (Trubshaw, 1995).
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Last edited 30 November 2022 to main Menu