The language spoken in Britain when the Romans arrived is usually considered to have been ancient Welsh or Kumric but the evidence is growing that this may not have been the case. Ancient Welsh and other associated ‘Celtic’ languages like Welsh or Cornish would have undoubtedly been spoken in Britain and perhaps more widely geographically than now, yet it is likely that the main language, at least in what is now England was a very early form of Old English and not Welsh at all (see).

It seems that the Welsh language has been in Britain since ancient times and once probably held sway over most of Britain. In English speaking areas traces of this can still be seen in place-names but examples are rare. In London there is the ‘tot’ or ‘toot' of Tothill Street (and more anciently Tothill Fields) in Westminster, [see Tothill], Other examples are said to include the dow of Dowgate in the City meaning water, the 'hol' or 'hoel' meaning road in Holborn and to the east of Greenwich is Westcombe from the Welsh 'cym' meaning a type of valley.

A form of the ancient Welsh probably came to Britain with the early miners around eight thousand years ago, they seem to have settled mainly the rockier places to the west of Britain where the veins of ore were close to the surface and where the relative warming of the Gulf Stream would have been most pronounced. It is not unreasonable to suppose that early on the ores and even metals like gold could have been lying on the surface having been weathered out of the rocks. There could easily have been a kind of gold rush and Britain seems to have become relatively prosperous at this time judging by the numerous stone monuments etc, at least to the west of the island. However mining isn’t sustainable they would have had to have dug deeper and the veins would (eventually) run out – unlike agriculture.

Then around six thousand years ago the first proper farmers came to Britain (or at least their culture did) and with them perhaps the proto English language, although there are other possible periods when this might have occurred. The consensus seems to be that English was the language of the early farmers in Anatolia or modern Turkey and that it spread with the farmers (see). It seems possible given the seeming antiquity of place-names in the English speaking parts of Britain that are so old their meanings have been lost.

There does however appear to have been a final migration of Welsh speakers, the people who called themselves the Cymry (and numerous other spellings) who seemed to have arrived with Hu the Mighty (or Hercules the Libyan) around 2500 BC (a very provisional date). These people seem to be the people most associated with the ancient Welsh language and presumably are the ‘Welsh’ element of Wales (see Hollinshed, third chapter).

However the group of people that have perhaps been more influential than any other on Britain’s culture were Prince Brutus the Trojan and his followers (see Brutus), they not only heralded in the Iron Age but gave Britain its name, as well as the distinctive ‘checkerboard’ ‘Celtic’ field patterns. As Trojans they would have originally come from the correct area where both farming was supposed to have started and the English language – Asia Minor or Anatolia, and were neighbours of the Hittites. The British chronicles go into great detail as to where their migration started and using Google Earth and other sources it is clear that the majority of those that made the migration came from the area that is now in northern Greece near the border with Albania. It is often assumed that the Trojans that were living here were enslaved Trojans captured after the fall of Troy but it is a very long way from Troy to take captives nor could they have been taken on a forced march as boats or ships would have been necessary to ferry them across the Dardanelles or Hellesport. What is not mentioned in the chronicles but adds greater credence to them is the fact that in this region there is a small Troy, the modern-day Filliates (see) that might be even older than the Troy in Asia Minor. It seems much more likely that these Trojans were there because it was their ancient homeland and were enslaved only after (or during) the Fall of Troy.

LA Waddell covers this well and his observation that the rivers in southern Britain including the Thames are named after rivers in this area seems highly likely to be true and perhaps direct evidence that a form of English was introduced at this time. An earlier name for the Thames is supposed to have been the Avon which is Old Welsh for river it also shows that the migration must have been from Trojans native to northern Greece for why would they wish to rename rivers after the place of their incarceration? Had most of them come from the fallen Troy in Asia Minor would they not have used river names from there like the Scamander?

All experts are agreed that there are very close affinities between the English and German languages and it was taken for granted that it had been brought to Britain by the Saxons but what if it were the other way round that German was introduced by the Trojans? The German Chronicles claim that a number of ancient German cities were founded by the Trojans (see map below) and the tribe the Sicambri, or at least what appears to have been their original city, Sicambria (see FOLIO XXXVII recto and FOLIO XXXIX recto) were descended from Trojans and are considered to be a Germanic people. The British chronicles speak of a British/Trojan colonisation of Germany about a century after the arrival of Brutus in Britain. Perhaps the most compelling evidence is the similarity between English and ancient Hittite as LA Waddell makes clear (see).

map of cities founded by Trojans according to the German Chronicles

But back to the ancient Welsh language it is the most extraordinary thing, it is extremely ancient and is, or appears to be, the basis of many ancient languages including Hebrew, Sanskrit and the Egyptian hieroglyphics. It also is an artificial non-evolving language, for example to most people today Shakespeare is hard to understand as the English language has considerably changed since then, not so the ancient Welsh it hardly changed at all over a much longer period. It is almost as if every word’s meaning had been ‘triangulated’ with other meanings to make sure there was no ‘slippage’ in meaning, for example the ancient name for Britain, Albion is probably derived form the ‘Giant’ Albion who invaded Britain in ancient times and also from the White Cliffs of Dover and possibly another (lost) meaning as the Druids liked to group things in threes to aid the memory. Indeed it has been claimed that there are so many ‘puns’ in the Welsh language (alas not funny ones) that the chances of this being accidental are one in a billion (see).

So the Ancient Welsh seems to have been an artificial language perhaps like Esperanto but far, far older and everything points to it being the original universal language that was spoken until the Tower of Babel or the Division of the Tongues as it is otherwise known. The original language was not lost but became obsolete but continued to be spoken by the ‘diehards’ the ‘Celts’ and became the basis of the ‘Celtic’ languages. The Ancient Irish although similar to the Welsh is actually a different language and is said to be derived from 72 dialects of the ‘lost’ original language. Such a non-evolving language would have been the perfect vehicle for recording their oral histories and traditions (see page 6 and page 216).

There is a clue about the relative date of Welsh in Britain, the Druids appeared to have spoken it, they seem to have continued speaking it in much the same way as Roman Catholic priests continued using Church Latin. They uttered the slogan ‘The Truth Against the World!’ in Welsh during their final destruction by the Romans in Anglesey. Brutus the Trojan ‘inherited’ the Druids as according to Holinshed they were invented by the Celtic king Druis who is roughly contemporary with Nimrod, one of the instigators of the Tower of Babel according the German chronicles. If Welsh was the universal language at the time then it would have been the language of most of the peoples living in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East and was the language spread by their colonisation of Britain and other parts of Europe.

Coming soon – the origins of the name 'England'


home | missing Roman road | The real Troy discovered | pre-Roman London | Britain's forbidden history | contact the author


Ancient British Language