Bara (wheaten bread) – the Cornish word for bread ... but which if it had not been for Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, I would never have realised.
Bara gwaneth – the top of the wheat field – is particularly common in Penwith, the far west of Cornwall – where my mother came from – and is recorded as a family name as early as the year 1590.
A very Cornish sounding family got in the lift with me at the St Pancras (old Workhouse) Hospital when we were visiting mothers – the Cornish link was a surprise ... but the Baragwanath connection made me laugh out loud.
Thus I found out bara is bread in Cornish, the enormous hospital in Johannesburg (originally for the Africans) was named after a Cornish family ... who were storekeepers in those early mining days, when the Cornish were prized for their mining skill.
|Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg|
(the 3rd largest hospital in the world,
after two Chinese hospitals)
Breads – the staple of many of us – come in plenty of disguises ... baps, barms, breadcakes, bread rolls, and now the description bara – the wheaten field, where the flour would have been gleaned.
Bara, a word that bemused and amused my mother when we discussed the unlikelihood of these connections coming about ...
That is B for Bara – part of the ABC series on Aspects of British Cookery.
Baragwanath Family History - if anyone wishes to click over the look!
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