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 Kidderminster

Historical Forms

  • Gurberhale 1086 DB
  • Wrbenhala 11th Dugdi.607
  • Wrubbenhale c.1160 WoC c.1240
  • Wrubbehale c.1200 WoC c.1250
  • Wurbenli 1203 AnnMoniv.392 1308
  • Wurbenhale, Wrubenhale, Wrobbenhale 1240 WoP
  • Wrignall 1565 WillsP
  • Rignall 1581 Wills
  • Ripenhall 1619 QSR
  • Ribbenhall, Rybbenhall 1633 QSR 1678 FF
  • Wrewbenhall 1666 FF
  • Wrybbedon 1327 BM


The first element in this name furnishes a difficulty, but it becomes somewhat clearer if we bring it into relation with certain other names. In the neighbouring parish of Wolverley we find in the Subsidy Rolls of 1275 and 1327 pers. names containing the place-name Wrobbecumbe or Wrybbecumbe . This place must have been named from someone bearing the same name as the founder of Wribbenhall, probably from that man himself. Similarly, Ribden in Farley (St) is Wrybbedon in 1327 (BM). All these names point to an OE  pers. name Wrybba . An allied Wrobba is found in Robley (Ha), wrobban lea in BCS 625, and Rabley (Herts), Wrobbele in 1317 Cl. In the Essex place- name Wrabness, DB Wrabenasa we may have a pers. name Wraba from another grade of the same stem. Side by side with Wrybba a metathesised form Wyrba seems to have been found, which would account for early forms in Wurb -. In the DB form we have Anglo-Norman g for initial w and common confusion of n and r . The name has also been influenced by Ribbesford.