Walbrook, EC4N

Place Name

The Walbrook stream flows near here, now underground, running between Ludgate Hill and Cornhill. It is thought to be named after one of the most dramatic events in pre-Norman British history. For the name comes from the Old English words walh meaning stranger or foreigner and brōc, meaning brook. It is from this root that the place names Wales, Wallingford, Walworth and (the fictional) Walford come from – and further afield non-Germanic Walloons in Belgium and Wallachians in Romania. In this case the foreigners were the Celts who resided here during the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons. Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names gives a vivid description: The name Walkbrook, meaning ‘Brook of the Britons’, is of Germanic origin, and probably referred to the pocket of Britons who took refuge on its banks as invading German tribes swept north and south past the deserted City, driving the rest of the native population to the west, where they set up their own kingdoms of Cornwall and Wales.”




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