Cymry - Background

Blencathra

The name Cumbria comes from the same root as Cymry, the Welsh word meaning "fellow-countrymen".  The name reveals our Celtic roots

The modern name for the people of Wales in their own language is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales:  these words mean 'fellow country-men'.  The earlier, Brythonic, name was combrogi, and this is how the people of what is now Cumbria would have referred to themselves probably from before the Roman Conquest until well into the middle ages. When the Anglo-Saxons took over the region, they called it Cumbraland or Cumberland, the land of the Cumbri (the name is first recorded in 945AD)

The language of yr Hen Ogledd (the Old North) was closely related to Old Welsh, and a very large number of place names in Cumbria were coined in that language - such as Blencathra (above), (Welsh/British blaen, point, top) - or Penrith (Welsh/British pen, top, end, and rhyd, ford), . 

 

Text and photo by Bill Shannon