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.

Oswaldslow Hundred

Hundred in the County of Worcestershire

Historical Forms

  • Oswaldeslaw, Oswoldeslau 1086 DB
  • Oswaldeslawes Hundred c.1150 Surv
  • Oswaldestane 1175 P
  • Oswoldeslowe 1255 Ass
  • Osewaldesle 1276 RH
  • Wymburghtree in 1376 IpmR


This Hundred consisted of sixteen manors, all belonging to the Church of Worcester and assessed at 300 hides. It was made up of a compact area, roughly one-half, surrounding Worcester, and thirteen isolated areas of differing magnitudes lying to the south and east. It was a triple hundred which was supposed to have been constituted by King Edgar in a charter of 964 (BCS 1135) to the monks of Worcester in the days of Bishop Oswald.In that charter it is arranged that the three hundreds of Wulfereslaw , Winburgetrowe and Cuðburgelawe shall henceforth constitute one unit and meet at a place, henceforward to be called, in honour of Bishop Oswald, Oswaldeslaw . This place is mentioned in the bounds of Wolverton (KCD 612) and is to be identified with Low Hill in White Ladies Aston infra 88.Further light is thrown on this locality s. n. Stoulton, Spetchley, Swinesherd infra 165–6, 161.

The Hundred of Wimburntree, representing the Winburgetrowe of BCS 1135, is mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of 1276, where it included Blockley. The court of the triple hundred was then held there and the curia de Wymeburnetre is mentioned in a 1408 Survey of Blockley (EcclVar ). It is also mentioned as Wymburghtree in 1376 IpmR.

Nothing further is known of the other two hundreds. Wimburntree and Cuðburgelaw took their names from women, called respectively Wynburh and Cūðburh , cf. Rǣdburh in Redbornstoke Hundred (PN BedsHu 67), Wulfereslaw from the man's name Wulfhere . The meeting-place of the hundred-court was not fixed. Swinesherd (v. infra 161) in its very name possibly records one of the meeting-places. Another was at a lost Dryhurst , near Worcester. In 1276 (RH) the Hundred of Oswaldslow met at Druhurst . In 1319 (Pat) we hear of the court of the Hundred of Bruhurst (sic) and this place is also mentioned in 1301 (Wigorn) as Dryhurst .

For the form Oswaldestane , cf. similar confusion under Redbornstoke and Wixamtree Hundreds in PN BedsHu 67, 87 and see under Stoulton infra 166.