Where’s Birminghams river?
Which river was it?
Two. More or less.
History: we’re on tribal ground.
When they moved in from the Trent, the first English entered the holdings and the bodies of the people who called the waters that kept them alive Tame, the Dark River, these English spread their works southward then westward, then all ways for thirty-odd miles, up to the damp tips of the thirty-odd weak headwaters of the Tame.
By all of the Tame they settled, and sat, named themselves after it: Tomsaetan.
And back down at Tamworth, where the river almost began to amount to something, the Mercian kings kept their state.
Dark because there’s hardly a still expanse of it wide enough to catch the sky, the Dark River.
Extract taken from Birmingham River by Roy Fisher
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