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  • Welsh Place-names: Ffordyn: Forden

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Description

urtune 1086, Forton 1292, 1540-1, Fortone 1292, 1404 (Griffith de Fordon 1364, fordun c.1155-c.1195 (c.1400), ofortun12g. (15g.), Fordyn 1535, Fording, -e 1566, Forden 1570, 1836, ffording al’s Forden 1587, Capell Fordon 1610, ffordon 1634, Ffordyn c.1630-38, 1700

Old English ford and tūn but the explanation 'town or settlement by a ford' as Forton, Lincolnshire and Shropshire is inappropriate here. Forden church stands no more than a mile from the rivers Severn and Camlad and there is no notable ‘ford’ nearer than the ford at Montgomery. The parish is, however, bisected by the Roman road running from Westbury, Shropshire to Y Gaer at Montgomery, and this has inspired the mistranslation 'old road', ffordd and hen. Old English ford here almost certainly means 'road, way' a word borrowed as fordd in Welsh. The modern form Forden derives immediately from the Welsh form of the older English place-name. But for Welsh influence, the place-name would probably have produced the modern form Forton.
The modern Welsh form now officially accepted as Ffordun and there is some support for this in early Welsh sources but later ones favour the form Ffordyn comparable with many other English place-names in north-east Wales that have taken on a Welsh appearance, e.g. Prestatyn.

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