At Parliament Hill is a prehistoric mound – the Llandin which in Welsh means llan = sacred and din = eminence. It is supposed to be a Gorsedd (great seat) a place where anciently important tribal meetings were held – parliaments indeed, and it is from these that Parliament Hill gets its name – nothing to do with the Houses of Parliament.
Stewart Ainsworth the
landscape archaeologist from the British television programme Time Team believes
that these mounds were originally used to define a territory, set high on
a hill but usually below the ridge – anyone who lived in sight of it
would be a ‘Llandin-er’ just as later, Cockneys were people who
were born in earshot of Bow bells.This
fits in well with the place-name Hampstead near by, the ‘home place’
(the Hampstead name in different variants is surprisingly common – Hemel
Hempstead for example). Hampstead Heath is likely to have been the temporary
camp that the first settlers used when the London area was still virgin territory,
heaths being the obvious choice in an area that would otherwise have been
is claimed that the Apostle St Paul preached from Parliament Hill but although
he travelled widely there is no evidence that he ever came to Britain, nevertheless
this is supposed to be why St Paul’s cathedral is dedicated to him.