Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Easby Moor from Roseberry Topping

The names Easby and Roseberry both derive from Old Scandinavian, but what did the Deiri tribe, nestled snugly between the Humber and the Tees rivers, call these places? Picture Deira as the precursor to Yorkshire, holding court in York.

But Deira wasn’t a territorial area. It seems more like a robust dynasty. The exact genesis of this lineage has been lost to history, but it likely unfurled around the 5th century amid the tumultuous tussles for dominance following the Roman departure. Toss in a volcanic eruption causing a global deep freeze and poor harvests, and you’ve got a potential recipe for chaos.

Some of these factions were native English, while others, the Angles and the Saxons arriving from across the North Sea, have been given the Anglo-Saxon label. As the sands of time sifted, the kingdom of Deira emerged through a blend of competition and amalgamation. The name probably harks back to an Old English term, akin to the Roman Derventio, modern day Malton, still found as the River Derwent. So, being Deiran wasn’t tethered to your territory, but to your kin or allegiance.

North of the Tees River, you had Bernicia, and come the late 7th century, these two kingdoms merged to form Northumbria.

And then the Vikings came.



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