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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Ashwater

Historical Forms

  • la Vise 1330 SR
  • la Vyse 1333 SR
  • atte Vise 1327 SR
  • atte Vyse 1327 SR
  • atte Vyse 1332 SR
  • de la Vise 1287 Ass


Viza was the home of John de la Vise (1330SR ), de la Vyse (1333SR ). Elsewhere in the county we have Vizacombe infra 151 and Vyse Wood in Morthoe for which no early forms have been noted. Outside Devon occur Devizes (PN W 69), which stood close to the meeting of the boundaries separating two of the bishop's manors from one of the king's, the precincts of the castle lying in two separate hundreds (Gentleman's Magazine 1863, pp. 475 ff.). We may note further Pipewell Abbey (Nth), referred to in 1143 (Dugd v, 434) as Sancta Marie de Divisis , which is on the boundaries of Rothwell and Corby Hundreds. We have pers. names atte Vise (1327SR ) (W), atte Vyse (1327SR ) (W), atte Vyse (1332SR ) (K) and de la Vise 1287Ass (Herts). Of the three Devon places, Vyse Wood is on the borders of the parishes of Morthoe and West Down. The other two places are not near the parish boundary, but may have been on the dividing line between the manors of Ashwater and Henford, and Inwardleigh and Curworthy respectively. It is clear that in all the names we have a short form of OFr  devise , 'division, boundary,' as suggested by Ekblom (PN W loc. cit.).