A gazetteer of Gloucestershire spring names
There over 1500 surviving Anglo-Saxon land grants of which some 840 have attached boundary clauses. Typically, they are descriptions in Old English (and sometimes Latin) of the boundaries of land-units recorded in charters dating from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. To an archaeologist, or for that matter anyone with an interest in historic landscapes, it is the boundary clause or the boundary that are the most interesting. They are descriptions in Old English (and sometimes Latin) of the boundaries of land-units recorded in charters dating from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. Each clause details the limits of the estate, and typically walk the reader clockwise around the perimeter of the estate citing features which the boundary passes, crosses or follows.
In 1935, a book entitled ‘Saxon Charters and field names of Gloucestershire’ was published which contained all the known boundary clauses for pre- 197? Gloucestershire (Grundy, 1935). This was supplemented in 1972 by ‘The early Charters of the West Midlands’ (Finberg, 1972) which contained other charters and boundary clauses. A gazetteer (below) was produced which contains all the known mentions of Anglo-Saxon (i.e. pre 1066) springs and where known, the date they were recorded. Some of the springs are actually named as a ‘wyl’ (in its various guises) which is an Anglo-Saxon word which meant a place where water issues from the earth (Grundy, 1935, 19). It should not be confused with the modern meaning of ‘Well’, which is a deep hole or shaft sunk into the earth to obtain water.
Finberg, H. P. R. 1972. ‘The Early Charters of the West Midlands’. Leicester: University Press
Grundy, G. B. 1935. ‘Saxon Charters and field names of Gloucestershire’. Council of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society.
Parish Anglo Saxon Name Modern Translation Date (A.D. where known)
Adlestrop Beagan Wylle Baywell (Wood) ?
Hwetten Stanes Wylle Whetstone spring ?
Hertescumbes Welle Harts Combe spring ?
Monneswalle Man’s spring ?
Sparteswelle Mor Swamp spring ?
Bickmarsh Fildena Wyllan Spring in the folds (of land) ?
Bourton on the Water Swellestowe (Holy place where) water springs up 949
Broadwell Bradwell Broad or wide spring ?
North Cerney Willan Dic Dyke or ditch spring 852
Winterwellan Winter spring 852
Bishop’s Cleeve Scirwyllan Clear (boundary?) spring ?
Myle Wylee Mill spring ?
Swel Hongre Hanging wood of the gushing spring ?
Cold Ashton Eanswythe Wyllas Eanswith’s springs 931
Holan Wylle Hollow spring 931
Hlamnys Wylle Echo spring 931
Linleg Wylle Flax Lea spring 931
Hafoc Wylle Hawk spring 931
Cutsdean Codeswellan Code’s Well 855
Gutincges Aewylm Great spring of Guiting 974
Daylesford Baegewellan Baega’s spring 718
Deerhurst Scead Willan Boundary spring ?
Beorgwillan Barrow spring 11th century
Donnington nr. Stow on Wold Blinde Wylle Blind spring 779
Caerswylle Watercress spring 779
Dowdeswell Dogodeswellan Dogod’s spring 781-798
Dyrham Loddra Wellan Beggars’ spring 972
Bridewyllan Bird spring 972
Aetheredes Wellan Aethelred’s Spring 972
Evenlode Heortuuelle Hart spring 772
Heort Wellan Hart spring 969
Hwete Wellan Wheat spring 969
Hawling Waeteres Sprynge (seasonal) Water spring 816
Iccomb Uuilesuuelee Wibel’s or Wil’s spring 781
Saltuuelle Salt well 781
Kemble Awilme Ewen (great spring) 931
Lydewelle Hollow spring 1250-1300
Littleton on Severn Aewelburhe Enclosure camp (with a) great spring 986
Maugersbury Cealdanwyllan Cold spring ?
Sealterawyllan Salt carriers spring ?
Fiscwille Fish spring 949
Maeswille Maple spring 949
Sealter Wille Salt carriers spring 949
Mickelton Maercumbes Wylle Spring in a hollow 1005
Notgrove Turcan Wyllas Turc’s spring 743
Swelstowe Spring at the sacred place 743
Seofenwyllas Seven springs 743
Olveston Hring Wylle Ring spring 743
Pucklechurch Loddrawyllon Beggars Springs 950
Hreodmorwyllon Spring of the swampy ground 950
Bydewyllon Boyd springs 950
Stoke Bishop Waldes Wellan Wood spring 883
Upper Swell Maer Wylle Boundary Spring 1055
Winson Burhwalles Camp spring ?
Withington Halgan Wyllan Holy spring ?
Alre Wyllan Alder spring ?
Wotton Under Edge Aewylme Great spring 940
Wraeccena Wyllan Strangers’ spring 940
Byrnes Wyllan Bourne spring 940