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Twyrodeby, between Kirby-Grindalythe and Thurtleby on the Yorkshire Wolds, and which is also mentioned in the Domesdaybook. Two Roman rodes crossed each other at Twy-rodeby, whence its name Twy-rodeby, or the residence of two roads. This place has long since disappeared. At Rudston two great Roman roads crossed each other on the great road from Malton (and York) to Flamborough, and the other from the Humber to Reighton: another branch also joined from Sledmere, then called Slidemare. At the junction of these roads the Monolith must have been a prominent object to the traveller in Roman, Saxon, Danish and even Norman times, though 800 years have nearly elapsed since the compilation of the Domesday-book, yet if you inform the agricultural labourer, that its ancient name was Rodestan, he will perfectly understand its meaning, if he be a native of this part of England.
In Hinderwell's history of Scarborough, second edition, in 1811, we are told at that time the elevation of the Monolith was 29 feet from the surface: and in Petitt's hand book of Filey, published in 1868, it is stated to be 24 feet: the surface of the ground
having risen 5 feet during that time, and which can only be accounted for by frequent interments.*
The crossing of the great Roman roads near the Monolith is a singular coincidence and if it had been raised by the Romans some inscription would still undoubtedly remain to inform us of the fact, though buried far below the present surface : but the general impression is that it stood there for ages long before the Roman invasion."
This idea, and these remarks of Mr. Waller's are further confirmed by an article by Mr. E. H. W. Dunkin, in the "Antiquary," vol. i, pp. 171-172, November 18, 1871, wherein he states-"Now without some direct reference to the Saga in question and fuller information as to the Viking called Rudd' than that given above, it is difficult to believe such a tale as Mr. Thompson has recorded more especially the very improbable fact that the Rudston was sent over from Denmark into this country. Not that these memorial pillars were unknown to the
*Mr. Waller seems not to be aware that at the time of the restoration of the Church in 1861, the church-yard was made level, it having previously been very undulating.
Danes, for beauta stones are common in Denmark and other Northern countries, usually, averaging from 9 to 20 feet in length (see example figured in Worsaae's Primeral Antiquities of Denmark, p. 109). But it appears to me that the story is merely an amplification of the hypothetical remarks of a writer in Archeologia in 1776, who says"I have no doubt but the village took it's name from the monument, being otherwise written Rudstan and Ruddestan in the same sense. I interpret it as the Stone of Rud, Rud being a very common name: and do suppose before the erection of that stone, and consequently the interment of the great man, the place was called by some other name. Many places have changed their names and there is no impropriety in supposing the Church to be founded about the same time as the monument, and perhaps by the very person to whom the pyramid belongs. But this is all conjecture." This last remark is certainly very characteristic of the whole extract. (Gough Camden iii., p. 78) very properly calls it "a farfetched etymology," and I shall now show from the records that the prefix "Rud" was unknown until the middle of the thirteenth century.
In the Yorkshire section of the "Domesday-book" the name appears three times and in each instance thus Rodestan. Following chronologically, I next find in the "Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem," Rodestayne. This is in 1265. About that time the word seems to have been first corrupted, for in the following year, Ruddestayne appears in the "Calendar of Charter Rolls." In 1275 however, in the "Hundred Rolls," of Edw. I., the old form again is used, Rodestan. After this the prefix is invariably spelt rudd or rud. It may interest some of my readers to glance through the following list of the different spellings after 1275, all taken from the "Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem," except Edw. III., (1830), which is from the "Calendar of Charter Rolls."
26 Edw. I. (1297) Rudestone.
1 Edw. III. (1326) Ruddeston:
Other variations may also be cited. In a list of the revenues of St. Mary's Abbey, at York, the forms Rudstan and Rudstane, appear as well as Ruddestan as above. Also in the articles of agreement betwixt the Abbot and Convent of St. Mary, and the Mayor and Commonality of the City of York," made in 1353, there is an allusion to the Church of Rudstayne; and in another Charter of the same Abbey the name is spelt Rudestan. (Drake's "Eboracum). It is thus quite apparent that the form Rode was corrupted after the thirteenth century into rud or rudd, but that before 1266 neither of these latter prefixes was in use. The Viking Saga may therefore, I think, with good reason be dismissed from any further consideration as the fact therein related, if true, must have occurred at least prior to the Norman Conquest.
A few words in conclusion on the probable meaning of the word Rodestan. I take it to be either from A.S. rode, a cross, and Stean
a Stone, or from rad a road,
and Stane a
*Rode is the common A.S. for Crur, in the A.S. version of the New Testament.-RICHARDSON'S DICTIONARY.
Richardson observes that road was also anciently written rode.