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.

Beckbury

Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Becheberie 1086 DB
  • Beccheberia 1155 SAC
  • Beckebir' 1229 Cl 1376 Pat
  • Bekebir' 1203-4 Ass
  • Bekebur' 1242,51 Fees
  • Bekebir' 1251 ib
  • Bekebury 1255 RH 1325 Pat
  • Be(c)kesbir' 1230 P
  • Bukkebur', Bakkebur' 1242 Fees
  • Beckbur' 1255 RH
  • Beckburi 1284-5 FA
  • Bekbury 1379 Pat 1502 Ipm
  • Becbury 1505 Ipm
  • Beckbury 1535 VE 1577 Saxton

Etymology

'Becca's manor house', second element byrig, dat. of burh .

H. P. R. Finberg suggested in 1972 (ECWM p. 148) that Beckbury might be the place called Kenbecleag which was one of the estates given to St Mildburg c.700. This possibility is discussed in VCH X, in the section (pp. 187ff) which sets out the history of the Liberty and Borough or Much Wenlock. Beckbury and the adjacent Badger became, for no easily ascertained reason, part of the conglomeration of parishes subject to the mother church of Wenlock, and the VCH X account argues that this could be held to support the suggested Kenbecleag identification. It is, however, very difficult to connect the names. Such a connection would depend on the assumption that the -bee - of the c.700 name became the first element of Beckbury, and it is doubtful whether any parallel could be found for such a development.