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Place names

60 second histories

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An explanation of place names and their Saxon origins like the word 'bury' meaning fortified place which lends its name to Banbury, Shaftsbury, Salisbury.  It also covers some county name origins like Essex coming from the East Saxons.

Have you ever wondered where your place names come from? Many of them are Anglo Saxon in origin, made up from old English words. If you take the Saxon word for village for example, which is Ham, it gives you West Ham in London or Birmingham. The word Bury means a fortified place, and this gives you Banbury, Shaftsbury and Salisbury. Ford is another old word, meaning shallow river crossing; ford lends its name to places such as Stafford and Hereford, and where do you think we get the place Oxford from? Was it a place where oxen crossed the river at a shallow river crossing? Some places are named after the old pagan gods, take Wodensfield in Essex, that’s named after the god Woden or Tuesley in Surrey named after Tiw. Another is Thursley named after Thor and means Thor’s grove. Even some counties have Saxon names, Essex for example is taken from East Saxons, Sussex the South Saxons, Middlesex the middle Saxons and finally the old county of Wessex meaning west Saxons. Where does your town’s name come from?
Anglo Saxon
Domestic Life
Saxon woman
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