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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Dowdeswell

Historical Forms

  • Dogodeswellan, Dogedes wyllan 781–98 BCS283 11th
  • Dodesuuelle 1086 DB
  • Doddeswell 1221 Ass 1226 ClR
  • Dodeswell 1225,1529,1571 FF
  • Dodiswell 1535 VE
  • Doudeswell(a), Doudeswelle 12 WinchLB 1221 Ass 1227 ClR c.1240 GlR 1248 Ass 1458 FF
  • Over Doudeswelle 1440 Pat
  • Dowdeswell(e) 1185 Templar 1284 Episc 1316 FA 1691 PR
  • Dowdiswell 1559 FF
  • Dud(d)eswell' 1221,1287 Ass
  • Douteswell 1303 FA
  • Dowcewall 1576 MonLand
  • Dowedeswelle 1412 Ass


The OE spellings are from a reliable manuscript, and the first el. would therefore appear to be an OE  pers.n. Dogod , Doged ; this would normally appear as ME  Doud - (with vocalisation of the OE  fricative -g -). But the pers.n. is otherwise unknown; Ekwall has suggested it would be etymologically connected with OE  dugan 'to avail, to be strong, virtuous' with the suffix -od (of which no examples occur, however, in pers.n. formation in OE); Dr Melville Richards reports that there was an OWelsh  pers.n. and saint's name Doged (from a root *doc -) but this should have had an OE  form like Doced , for PrWelsh  -g - which arose by lenition of Brit  -c - (in Brit  *Doceto -) normally has OE  -c - [k] substituted, as OE  did not have the stop -g - [g] in such positions (cf. Jackson p. 251 n, § 137); it would seem therefore that this pers.n. is unlikely on phonological grounds.v. wella , 'well, spring'. There are two springs and streams here which unite to form the R. Chelt.