Hannah's Meadows

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Hannah's Meadows
Hannah's Meadow and High Birk Hatt - geograph.org.uk - 46669.jpg
Hannah's Meadow Nature Reserve at High Birk Hatt Farm
Map showing the location of Hannah's Meadows
Map showing the location of Hannah's Meadows
Site of Special Scientific Interest
LocationMAGiC MaP
Nearest townBarnard Castle
Coordinates54°33′44″N 2°6′5″W / 54.56222°N 2.10139°W / 54.56222; -2.10139Coordinates: 54°33′44″N 2°6′5″W / 54.56222°N 2.10139°W / 54.56222; -2.10139
Area7.1 ha (18 acres)
Established1989
Governing bodyDurham Wildlife Trust
WebsiteHannah's Meadows SSSI

Hannah's Meadows is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Teesdale district of south-west County Durham, England. It consists of three fields, located at Low Birk Hatt Farm, on the north side of Blackton Reservoir, in Baldersdale, some 7 km west of the village of Cotherstone. The site is named after Hannah Hauxwell, whose farm it was for over 50 years.

Because Miss Hauxwell employed traditional farming practices, with no re-seeding and no artificial fertilisers, the meadows are thought to be the least improved in upland Durham, and, as a result, have a very rich floral composition, including rare species such as frog orchid, Coeloglossum viride, moonwort, Botrychium lunaria, and adder's-tongue, Ophioglossum vulgatum.[1]

In 1988, Low Birk Hatt Farm was purchased by the Durham Wildlife Trust, which now manages it as Hannah's Meadows nature reserve; one of the farm buildings—which are excluded from the SSSI—has been renovated as an unmanned visitor centre. In order to preserve the special characteristics of the site, the Trust continues to manage the farm in the traditional manner. [2]

Norse Mythology of Baldersdale[edit]

River Balder and Hunder Beck[edit]

The nature reserve is beside Blackton Reservoir and is close to the point where the River Balder and Hunder Beck meet and enter the reservoir. [3]

The River Balder is named after the Norse God ” Balder ” . [a] [4] The Hunder Beck is named after the Norse God ” Thunder ” . [b] [5]

According to Norse Mythology , ” Balder ” and ” Thunder ” are both sons of the Norse God ” Odin ” . [4][5]

The River Balder rises from its source on Stainmore Common [6] and flows in an easterly direction until it joins the River Tees near Cotherstone.

According to Roger of Wendover, the Viking ruler Eric Bloodaxe was betrayed and killed on Stainmore in AD 954, while on the run and after being expelled from York. [7] [c] Following his death a famous poem was written about him called Eiríksmál . [8]

Eiríksmál Verse 3[edit]

In verse 3 the Norse God ” Odin ” exclaims to the legendary poet ” Bragi ”  : [9] [d] [e]

" Hvat þrymr þar Bragi, sem þúsund bifisk eða mengi til mikit? "

" Bragi ! It's thundering of thousands of noises - or many peoples "

the legendary poet ” Bragi ” replies :

" Braka öll bekkþili, sem muni Baldr koma eptir í Óðins sali "

The tables are rumbling; is Balder back and again in Odin's halls?

Shacklesborough and Goldsborough Carr[edit]

The Loki Stone - " The bondage of Loki " '

Shacklesborough and Goldsborough Carr are isolated, flat-topped hills [f] that dominate the Baldersdale landscape.

  • Shacklesborough (454m) is about 3 km South West of Hannah's Meadows[10]
  • Goldsborough Carr (389m) is about 2 km South East of Hannah's Meadows[11]

According to Norse Mythology , Balder [g] died after the mischief-maker Loki [h] tricked the blind Höðr [i] into killing Balder with a spear made from mistletoe.[4]

Odin was so outraged by the death of his son Balder , rather than killing Loki outright, he arranged for Loki to be bound and " shackled " , [j] so that he would spend the remainder of his days ( until Ragnarök at least ! ) being tortured. The story is narrated in the poem Lokasenna. [k] [l] [m] [n] [12] [13]

Several stone crosses or fragments have been found in the local area that are believed to depict " the bondage of Loki "

The name Goldsborough is derived from a story about Loki in the poem Reginsmál . [q] [r] [14]

See also[edit]

Examples of Norse Mythology in the North of England

  • Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire, England - " Othenesberg " (1119) , " Othon's Bjarg " , " Odin's Rock " .[v] [w]

Sources[edit]

Online[edit]

  • Arthur, Ross G. "English-Old Norse Dictionary" (PDF). In Parentheses Publications. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  • Eiríksmál in Old Norse from «Kulturformidlingen norrøne tekster og kvad» Norway.

Books[edit]

  • Arthur, Ross G. (2002). English-Old Norse Dictionary. In Parentheses Publications.
  • Dowden, Ken (2000). European Paganism: The Realities of Cult from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-12034-9.
  • Page, R. I. (2002). Chronicles of the Vikings - Records, Memorials and Myths. British Museum Press. ISBN 0-7141-2800-7.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The name ” Balder ” can be interpreted as ” bold ” or ” brave ”
  2. ^ People of Celtic origin found the ' Þ ' of the Old Norse language ( pronounced ” th ” ) difficult, hence words that began ' th ' were often shortened to begin with just ' t ' or ' h ' ( E.g. Number three - ” tree ” )
    • Thunder Beck
    • Hunder Beck
    See also : Thynghowe
    • Thynghowe
    • hynger howe
    • Hanger Hill - c. 17th cent.
  3. ^ Eric had previously been King of Northumbria ( c. 947–948 and 952–954 ) during his more successful days
  4. ^ Old Norse version is from «Kulturformidlingen norrøne tekster og kvad» Norway
  5. ^ English version is translated from Danish using Google Translate
  6. ^ technically known as mesa
  7. ^ Norse God ” Balder ” is a son of ” Odin ” and ” Frig ”
  8. ^ Norse God ” Loki ” is not related to ” Odin ”
  9. ^ Norse God ” Höðr ” is a son of ” Odin ” and ” Frig ”
  10. ^ Hence the name " Shacklesborough "
  11. ^ Loki - " The arrival of Thor and the bondage of Loki "
  12. ^ The Norse God Thor is also known as " Thunder "
  13. ^ Shacklesborough drains into Hunder ( " Thunder " ) beck .
  14. ^ The Hunder beck contains a series of waterfalls. The poem narrates how Loki disguised himself as a salmon and hid in the waterfall of Franangrsfors
  15. ^ The Loki Stone - A 10th-century cross features a bound figure with horns
  16. ^ A depiction of a similarly horned and round-shouldered figure was discovered in Gainford
  17. ^ Loki states that they have now handed over the gold, and that gold is cursed as Andvari is, and that it will be the death of Hreiðmarr and Regin both.
  18. ^ Andvari had a magical ring Andvaranaut that could help with finding sources of gold
  19. ^ Local tradition suggests that the Bowder Stone was originally named after the Norse God Baldr [15]
  20. ^ Old Norse steinn - " stone " [16]
  21. ^ Cumbrian dialect Bowder - " boulder "
  22. ^ Old Danish Othon - Norse God Odin [18]
  23. ^ Old Norse bjarg - " rock " [19]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Hannah's Meadows SSSI : Reasons for designating the SSSI status" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  2. ^ *"Nature Reserves - Hannah's Meadow". Durham Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  3. ^ "MAGiC MaP : River Balder and Hunder Beck". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud Service.
  4. ^ a b c *"Norse God : Baldr ( "Balder" )". norse-mythology.org. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b *"Norse God : Thor ( "Thunder" )". norse-mythology.org. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  6. ^ "MAGiC MaP : River Balder Source". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud Service.
  7. ^ Williams 2017, p. 298.
  8. ^ Williams 2017, p. 300.
  9. ^ *"Eiríksmál : Old Norse". www.heimskringla.no. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  10. ^ "MAGiC MaP : Shacklesborough 454m, Baldersdale". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud.
  11. ^ "MAGiC MaP : Goldsborough 389m, Baldersdale". Natural England - Magic in the Cloud.
  12. ^ Page 2002, pp. 195–204.
  13. ^ *"Lokasenna : Old Norse". www.heimskringla.no. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  14. ^ *"Reginsmál : Old Norse". www.heimskringla.no. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  15. ^ Hodgson 2007, pp. 5.
  16. ^ Arthur 2002, pp. 139.
  17. ^ *"The Bowder Stone". The official visitor website for Keswick. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  18. ^ Dowden 2000, pp. 80.
  19. ^ Arthur 2002, pp. 120.