English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Wash Hill and Wash Common, Wash Water Fm, Wash Common Fm, Wash Water Bridge and Wash Water Mill

Early-attested site in the Parish of Enborne


Wash Hill and Wash Common (in Newbury), Wash Water Fm, Wash Common Fm (in Enborne), Wash Water Bridge and Wash Water Mill (in Highclere Ha). Forms for the Newbury names are given Pt 1260.Earlier forms, which refer to a wood in the adjacent parish of Highclere Ha, have been supplied by Mr J. E. B. Gover: La Wesse 1228, (in bosco de ) Le Wessche 1241, (foresta de ) La Wesse 1243, La Wasse 1288, La Wassche 1292, La Wayssche 1301. Wash Water Fm and Bridge are about a mile apart on the R. Kennet. It seems likely that the length of river between these points was known as The Wash, from (ge)wæsc 'washing, flood'. This part of the river, and a short stretch to the W. of Wash Water Fm, is marked 'Liable to Floods' on the 6″ map. The other names, which occur well to the N. and S. of the river, suggest that this narrow belt of flooding land was a notable topographical feature.