Womanby Street, Cardiff

Womanby Street

The name of this street is an example of how the names of Viking settlements of the 10th century and later can be recognised in place-names.

Womanby Street preserves the form of an original Hundemanby, recorded c.1280, meaning 'houndsman's homestead'. It derives from the Old Norse words hundamađr – 'houndsman, dog-keeper' –  and that which survives in modern forms as -by 'homestead, farmstead' which is a useful indicator of the locations of old Scandinavian settlements in Wales and Britain as a whole.

Today Womanby Street is tucked away between bustling city-centre thoroughfares but in the period of Viking settlement it would have been a nondescript area by the river Taff, which often flooded or changed its course. A short distance north-east were the remains of the Roman fort, where the newly arrived Normans created a motte c.1090 and topped it with a stone keep c.1135.

Source (for place name information): Place-Names in Glamorgan by Professor Gwynedd Pierce, Merton Priory Press, 2002.

With thanks to Professor Gwynedd Pierce of the Welsh Place-Name Society and to the Nisa shop on the corner of Womanby Street for hosting the QR codes

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: CF10 1BS

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