The Weald is an area in South East England situated between the parallel chalk escarpments of the North and the South Downs. It crosses the counties of Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey. It has three separate parts: the sandstone "High Weald" in the centre; the clay "Low Weald" periphery; and the Greensand Ridge, which stretches around the north and west of the Weald and includes its highest points. The Weald once was covered with forest, and its name, Old English in origin, signifies "woodland". The term is still used today, as scattered farms and villages sometimes refer to the Weald in their names.
The name "Weald" is derived from the Old English weald, meaning "forest" . This comes from a Germanic root of the same meaning, and ultimately from Indo-European. Weald is specifically a West Saxon form; wold is the Anglian form of the word. The Middle English form of the word is wēld, and the modern spelling is a reintroduction of the Anglo-Saxon form attributed to its use by William Lambarde in his A Perambulation of Kent of 1576.
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