Walbrook – What’s in a name?
A walk that I never meant to create has now become rather an obsession. I am certain I am not alone in this. The river itself is fascinating but the origin of the name is also a mystery.
Stow in A Survey of London 1598 assumes the name comes from the river running under the Roman Wall. Seems a reasonable enough explanation.
Peter Ackroyd in ‘London the Biography’ writes of the ‘weala broc’ translated as the brook of the Welsh. In old deeds ‘walbroc’ (c. 1114-33) Anglo Saxon ‘walk’ to mean a stranger or foreigner, the Welsh were seen to be so at that time. They are of course a country in their own right today.
Fabyan who wrote his chronicles at the end of the 15th Century refers to an ancient battle on the Bucklersbury site between the Franks and the Romans. The victorious Roman General was known as Lucius (of) Gallus – Gallus being the name given to that part of Britain known as Wales and Cornwall – which over time evolved into Wallusbroke – and in popular usage since 12th Century.
The ‘Walbrook where art thou?’ has proved a popular walk come sun, rain or snow and it is still improving at each outing. I was particularly lucky that a splendid ‘visual aid’ was supplied by Blomberg’s and MOLA in the form of a hoarding down the whole of Walbrook. With QR codes for the technically minded.
Plus the bonus on one of the walks to be privy to the discovery of a Nero coin at the very moment we passed by, which delighted us all including MOLA Discovery who were following me on Twitter that day! See http://walbrookdiscovery.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/feeling-drained/ for more on MOL’s activities.