Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Catterick /Cetreht: Place in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series****

Catterick, sometimes Catterick Village to distinguish it from the nearby Catterick Garrison, is a village in North Yorkshire. It dates back to Roman times, when Cataractonium was a Roman fort protecting the crossing of the Great North Road (A 1) and Dere Street over the River Swale.

Map of Catterick Garrison shown in RED

Map showing Dere Street marked in Red

River Swale near Richmond

Ptolemy's Geographia of c.150 mentions it as a landmark to locate the 24th clime.[1]

Catterick is thought to be the site of the Battle of Catraeth (c.598) mentioned in the poem Y Gododdin. This was a historic battle between Celtic British or Brythonic kingdoms and the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia.[2] Catraeth was then a seat of the British kingdom of Rheged.
In later times, it prospered as a coaching town where travellers up the Great North Road would stop overnight and refresh themselves and their horses; today's Angel Inn was once a coaching inn. Saint Anne's Church overlooks the village and has Norman roots.

At the 2001 Census, Catterick Village had 2,743 residents, most of whom work in the adjacent Garrison, in farming, or in the local towns of Richmond, Darlington, Northallerton or on Teesside.

Darlington Market place and High Street

Northallerton High Street and Market Place

Previously RAF Catterick the airfield to the south of the village was transferred to the Army and is now Marne Barracks, named after the site of two significant battles of World War I.
The £1m A1 bypass was opened in 1959 by Lord Chesham, the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport.

"Cataractonium" looks like a Latin/Greek mixture meaning "place of a waterfall", but on the Ptolemy world map it is spelt Κατουρακτονιον, which looks like Celtic for "[place of] battle ramparts".
1. Stevenson, Edward Luther. Trans. and ed. 1932. Claudius Ptolemy: The Geography. New York Public Library. Reprint: Dover, 1991, Latinized English translation, Book II Chapter 2.

2. David Nash 1998 "Early British Kingdoms" - "Timeline of the Early British Kingdoms 410 AD-598 AD

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