AttestedGabaglanda at position 131 in the Ravenna Cosmography, where a series of names 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 *gab- ‘to show, to watch’, which had plenty of descendants in Germanic languages, such as Old English capian ‘to look’, and also in Balto-Slavonic, but more likely from PIE *ghai- ‘to gape, to yawn’, discussed with regard to several other names, but particularly Γαβραντουικων Ευλιμενος κολπος and the Gypsey Race near Bridlington.

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quarrying, but aerial photos show how Gabaglanda sat on the edge of a chasm and one can readily surmise how it was superseded by construction of Hadrian's Wall.  Haltwhistle Burn itself was formerly a hive of industry, with multiple watermills.  See an image below, screen-captured from Google Earth, with a prominent square shape of the fortlet.  Ptolemy's Γαβαιον promontory in Brittany has never been precisely identitified (Penmarch, Corsen, etc?), but either the huge inlet leading to Brest or the little one next to Pointe de Kermorvan might be an appropriate gaping gap.

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Last edited 19 July 2022     To main Menu

[Haltwhistle Burn fortlet pic here]