Gegaderung => Anglo-Saxon Discussion => Topic started by: ubique on December 27, 2010, 09:41:09 PM

Title: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: ubique on December 27, 2010, 09:41:09 PM
Hey folks
Was wondering if anybody had any information on any symbolism of the Hwicce.Im aware that symbolism begins slightly later in AS history IE the Golden Wyvern of wessex ect.

Ive found a small bit of info on another website

The Red Horse of Tysoe (as in the god Tiw or Ty) is a now overgrown figure on the escarpment by Radway (Rad=red?)The earth is a deep red colour here; the English founded these villages, and the horse overlooked the flat land in front. It is on my avatar because that is where my family lived. The Tiw rune represents Tysoe

any ideas guys?

Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Roge on January 28, 2011, 03:26:49 PM
Does any of this Information help?

 Hwicce is Old English for trunk or chest. Some have also interpreted it as meaning "sacred vessel" and linked to the shape of the Vale of Gloucester and the Romano-British regional cult of a goddess with a bucket or cauldron.  The goddess was probably known as the Mater Dobunna who seems to have been asssociated with West Country legends concerning the Holy Grail.

I have just began to start looking into this subject also due to being Bristolian and now living on the Bristol/Gloucestershire border.

Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Mearcstapa on March 02, 2018, 10:28:20 AM
I'm interested in the Hwicce as well and I live in the Gloucester area!
I have read Stephen Yeates book 'the Tribe of Witches' and its follow up. His idea on the Iron Age Dobunni and the post-Roman Hwicce all balances on the discovery of a stone relief from the Roman period showing a previously unknown goddess called Cudae at Daglingworth near Cirencester. This goddess he spins into a cult of Cudae that the Dobunni and the later Hwicce he believes they followed. But this all balances on very slender evidence and I'm no longer convinced by any of it. He has the Hwicce as merely Britons later dressing up and speaking as Anglo Saxons. The name of the Hwicce according to the experts in that field has no connection with the word 'witch' and its other connection with a meaning of 'chest or casket' is also inconclusive. It would be far more interesting to understand the Hwicce on their own grounds instead. As for the Dobunni all worshipping a goddess found in a small valley from the Roman era this seems unlikely, mainly because from what I have read about prehistoric paganism in Britain it was overwhelmingly defined by not having to restrict itself to small group of gods or goddesses. We have also inherited from the Victorians a fashion for seeking out 'mother goddesses' to try and make the past fit comfortably with our wishes and desires that they did not share. 
The Hwicce emerge in the early Anglo Saxon age as a distinct group in Gloucester, Worcester, part of Warwickshire and part of Oxfordshire. Later they become sub-kings within the Midland kingdom of Mercia. Where did they come from? I wonder myself If they originated as Germanic foederati hired by a post-Roman British kingdom, much as the Gewisse of the lower Thames valley probably did, and indeed how much of the Anglo Saxon migrants may have arrived in Britain. Here is an interesting article by Caitlin Green on the Hwicce maybe coming from the south east area near Lincoln:
http:// (http://
Places I know of with the name Hwicce in:
1. Wychwood, at the Cotswold-Oxfordshire border.
2. Wychbury, near Stourbridge and the Clent Hills.
3. Mons Hwicciorum, a vanished name up on the Cotswolds near Cutsdean, meaning Hill of the Hwicce, or Wychdon if it had survived.
there's still much to be learnt about the Hwicce!

Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Eanflaed on March 02, 2018, 08:56:36 PM
Winchcombe. A lovely town, quite near where I used to live, and an important Hwiccan Centre.
Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Bowerthane on March 08, 2018, 03:53:35 PM
Nice to see you Ubique, Roge and Mearcsteper.

I’m more than a little interested in the Hwicce and the Red Horse of Tysoe.  All but one of the leading child characters in my kiddies' book are Wychlanders and I’ve portrayed the Red Horse in all its fully-fledged glory. Lord Athelred’s court uses it as a landmark by which to meet up with the local elderman, gentry and notables, when on circuit.

( Not that I’ve portrayed it in any detail beyond being big and horse-shaped, so by all means tell me how you’d like it to look, Ubique…)

Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Mearcstapa on March 14, 2018, 10:48:38 AM
I do not know the Tysoe area at all it is far out of the Severn vale, but it is not far from the Rollright stone circle as I see on the map. Could it be that the Anglo Saxons were re-sanctifying the area under Tiws power as folks had been recognising this sacredness in whatever form that took here going back to the Neolithic in the Rollright stones? A lack of knowing this land hinders me from saying anymore! But it was not far from that old waste of oak wood and heath known as Ardens that covered the land now under Birmingham and Coventry.
Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Bowerthane on April 16, 2018, 02:21:31 PM
Hello again everyone.

Sorry to take bleedin’ months, Ubique, but I’ve been hunting about, on and off, to see if anything answering to the description of a symbol for the Wychenfolk could be found.

As you may know better than I, in Old English records the bishops of Worcester were also known as the Episcopus Hwicciorum, and the oldest known boundaries of the bishopric or diocese of Worcester seem to be co-extensive with the borders of a sometime kingdom of the Wychenfolk.  Googling up what I could about the diocese of Worcester I hoped to find something, maybe from its corporate armorial, that might work.  Yet all I could find was the shield-under-a-mitre job of the present Anglican diocese.  All that shows is a load of balls, ten red ones, arranged in an upside-down triangle.  Which is not exactly giving away a lot to the Russians.

So I thought I’d drawn a blank.  Yet last night it crossed my mind that other records may show earlier armorial bearings, maybe before the Reformation, that may be less bland.  Under ‘Worcester Archive’ Wikipedia does say, “The Charters of Worcester are one of the key sources for historians studying the period and are a major reason for information about the early Anglo-Saxon church.  The charters exist within the Worcester archive which is itself the largest Anglo-Saxon archive of its kind. It contains many texts, ranging from late 7th to the 11th centuries, providing a significant and continuous history of the church.” 

So if you or Mearcsteper can access said archives, who knows what you might find?

The moral right of the author to be identified as a registered user of mayonnaise has been asserted.
Title: Re: Hwicce symbolism
Post by: Eanflaed on April 16, 2018, 03:17:30 PM
And if you find anything, let us know! I’ve got a particular affection for the Worcester area, two of my children having been born there and my husband a native. And as AS bishops of Worcester were often also Archbishops of York (I live near York now) I still feel kind of connected!