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.

Westbury

Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Wesberie 1086 DB
  • Wesbury 1346 FA 1625 PR(H) 1658 PR(StA) 1811 PR(StA)
  • Westbir' 1203-4 Ass
  • Wesbrey 1711 PR(StA)

Etymology

v. west , byrig . The road system makes a small D-shaped enclosure in the centre of the village, and this may preserve the outline of a fortification. VCH VIII p. 300 points out that Westbury is at a junction of routes to Wales. Cf. Pontesbury, where the morphology of the village also suggests a fortified area.Westbury may be named from its position W. of Pontesbury.

VCH suggests that this, rather than Westbury on Severn Gl, is the Wæstbyrig of ASC C s.a. 1053. In this entry it is stated that Welshmen killed many English guards (weardmenn ), but no context is given, and the Shropshire place is only a possibility.

Westbury contains the townships of Cause, Forest, Lake, Marsh, Newton, Stoney Stretton, Vennington, Wallop, Westbury, Westley, Whitton, Winsley and Yockleton. The VCH VIII account includes Minsterley, but that place is here treated (supra ) as a separate parish.

Major Settlements