The Roman Map of Britain Alauna Watton's Ford, Hampshire

Alauna (R&C 32) next


    Ptolemy's river Alaunou (Geography II 3 3) is situated somewhere between the Southampton Water and the Devonshire Exe. Both the Hampshire Avon and the Dorset Stour have tributaries named Allen and a common mouth at Christchurch. The Roman road Margary 422 crosses the Avon at Watton's Ford (SU137017) and the Stour near the efflux of the River Allen and Lake Farm (SY9999). Ekwall considered the Dorset Allen to be a back-formation. The old name is recorded as Wimborne Winburna 705. The choice between the two might be simpler if Nouiomagno (R&C 39) could be assigned with certainty to Lake Farm or Hamworthy/Poole Harbour. Such an assignment would eliminate Lake Farm as a possibility for Alauna, and by default award it to Watton's Ford. The fortress at Lake Farm has questionable credentials. To eliminate Watton's Ford  for lack of a known Roman presence would be premature.

Roman road Margary 422 (Lake Farm to Otterbourne/Winchester)
Britannia xxi (1990), 353


    Ellingham (SU1408) is just north of the Watton's Ford. ADS records a Roman settlement [EHNMR-626415] under the heading 'Moreys Gravel Pit' SU1407 and unspecified Roman features [EHNMR-1311326] at Ellingham Farm SU1506. Ellingham is recorded as AEthelingham 1086 (see Coates 1989) which can also be explained as Aet Helingham 'at Elingham' (with decorative H). Note Coates' mention of Elinge Thornes (Hill) in the bailiwick of Godshill SU1714, six miles to the north. If the El-ing- represents Alauna combined with the the -ing suffix found paired with other early river names, it would be consistent with the placement of Alauna at the Watton's Ford crossing of the Avon. Just opposite Ellingham, on the west bank of the Avon is Somerley Estate SU1308, site of another Roman settlement [EHNMR-1085411].


    The Hampshire Avon's British name was Sarua and on it was Sarviodunum/Saravus Old Sarum. The thought that it might be Ptolemy's river Alaunou (Geography II 3 3) can safely be discarded.