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Title: Gyrwas  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: The Fens, Isle of Ely, Anna of East Anglia, Ely Cathedral, History of Cambridgeshire, Seaxburh of Ely, Tribal Hidage, Medeshamstede, Gyrwe
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


For the place, see Gyrwe.

Gyrwas was the name of an Anglo-Saxon population of the Fens, divided into northern and southern groups and recorded in the Tribal Hidage; related to the name of Jarrow.

Hugh Candidus, a 12th-century chronicler of Peterborough Abbey, describes its foundation in the territory of the Gyrwas, under the name of Medeshamstede. Medeshamstede was clearly in the territory of the North Gyrwas.[1] Hugh Candidus explains Gyrwas, which he uses in the present tense, as meaning people "who dwell in the fen, or hard by the fen, since a deep bog is called in the Saxon tongue Gyr".[2] The territory of the South Gyrwas included Ely. Æthelthryth founded Ely monastery after the death of her husband Tondberht, who is described in Bede's Ecclesiastical History as a "prince of the South Gyrwas".[3] Bede also described Bishop Thomas of Dunwich, in East Anglia, as having been "from the province of the Gyrwas", and deacon to his predecessor Felix.[4]


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