Welsh units

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'Erw' redirects here. For electronic-resistance welding, see ERW.

Welsh units are the historical units of measurement in Wales separate from those imposed by the English following their 13th-century Edwardian conquest. Modern Wales no longer employs any of these but – like the rest of the UK – instead uses a mixture of metric and British imperial units.

Length[edit]

  • 3 troed-feo (feet) = 1 cam (pace)
  • 4 cam = 1 cessel-yeu[1]
  • 18 feet[2] = 1 rod[3]

Area[edit]

See also: maenor

In the Laws of Hywel Dda:

  • 2 rods × 18 rods = 1 erw (acra)[3]
  • 312 erwaw = 1 rhandir
  • 3 rhandiroedd (held by taeogion) = 1 taeogtref
  • 4 rhandiroedd (held in freehold) = 1 tref ryd
  • 7 taeogtrefi = 1 maenor vro = 936 erwau
  • 12 trefi ryd = 1 maenor wrthdir = 1248 erwau [4]

The cymydau and cantrefi, meanwhile, were fixed political entities with quite various sizes.

Subsequently, at least in theory:

  • 4 erwau = 1 tyddin (homestead)
  • 4 tyddynnod = 1 rhandir (tract, district)
  • 4 rhandiroedd = 1 gafael (holding)[5]
  • 4 gafelion = 1 tref (township)
  • 4 trefi = 1 maenor (manor) = 1024 erwau
  • 12½ maenorau = 1 cwmwd (commote)
  • 2 cymydau = 1 cantref = 25,600 erwau[6]

Volume[edit]

Time[edit]

Main article: Celtic calendar

The Welsh seem to have used an eight-[7] or nine-day week,[8] rather than a seven-day one, long after their conversion to Christianity.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Timothy. A glossary of mediaeval Welsh law, based upon the Black book of Chirk. Univ. Press (Manchester), 1913.
  2. ^ One version of the Laws of Hywel Dda, the Latin Peniarth MS. 28, instead gives 16½ feet to the 'long yoke'.
  3. ^ a b Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Law, p. 339. Oxford Univ., 1909. Accessed 1 Feb 2013.
  4. ^ Wade-Evans. p. 344
  5. ^ Lewis's account, based on Gwynedd's Black Book of Chirk, gives the gafael as holding 34 erwau rather than 64.
  6. ^ Williams, Jane. A History of Wales. Cambridge Univ, 2010. Accessed 1 Feb 2013.
  7. ^ The modern Welsh word for "week" is wythnos: "eight nights"
  8. ^ Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Law, n. 5 by Mary Jones. Accessed 1 Feb 2013.