Gazetteer of Anglo-Saxon Gloucestershire Spring Names – with thanks to Neil Baker

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
Donnington nr. Stow on Wold  Blinde
Wylle                            Blind spring                                         779
                                                Caerswylle                               Watercress spring                                 779
Dowdeswell                              Dogodeswellan                                   Dogod’s spring                                     781-798
Dyrham                                                Loddra
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