A street in Ledbury is called Oatleys.
- 1304Alkerugge, Ep. Reg.
There is an Ockridge also in Pencombe.
- 1215 Acleya, Brec. Cart.
- 1243 Acle Lyre, T. de Nevill.
- 1286 Lyra Acle, Capes.
- 1341 Oclelere, Non. Inq.
- circ.1550 Acle Lyra, Leland.
O.E. ac leah, 'oak meadow'. See Ocle Pychard. Belonged to the Abbey of Lyra in Normandy.
- 1086 Acle, Dom.
- 1247 Acle Pichard, Capes.
- circ. 1250 Acle Pycharde, Glos. Cart.
- 1291 Acle Pychard, Tax. Eccles.
- 1302 Oclepichard, Quo War.
- 1341 Okelpichard, Non. Inq.
- 1351 Oclepichard, Plac. de Banco.
O.E. ac leah, 'oak meadow'. Dom. Acle, Ode, or Aclea usually becomes Oakley. -ley is rarely slurred into -le. Cf. Acle (Norf.), Acle (Thanet). Baddeley thinks Oakle (Street, Glos.) is 'Occa's lea'.
Roger Pychard of Stradewi (Brec.) held Ode in 1243: and the family would seem to have retained it for at least two centuries.
- 1310 le Okes juxta Bromyard, Harl. MS.
Leom. Cart. (undated) has a 'Feodum de la Oke'.
- circ.1130 Elchon, Lib. Land.
Perhaps an ancient 'bloomery' or smelting-place. Many such are found near Ross, and there are traces of one in Peterchurch.
So in 1640, as now.
The original name of the Pinsley brook (Oney in Saxton's Map 1577). There is also an Onny or Ouny in Shropshire, on which is Onibury parish. It is unwise to speculate on river- names; but some have made this river Onnan, Mod. Welsh onen, 'an ash tree', while others make it a corruption of Avon. In any case, -on seems to be a Celtic root found in many river- names, e.g. the French Garonne, Rhone, and Sa˘ne, the Scotch Carron, and our Herefordshire Garron.
- 1138 Orcop, A.C.
- 1253 Horcop, Chart. R.
- 1291 Orcoppe, Tax. Eccles.
- 1318 Orecop, Ep. Reg.
- 1341 Orcoppe, Non. Inq.
- 1538 Arcoppe, Val. Eccles.
Origin uncertain. We cannot even be sure whether it is English or Welsh. Some say O.E. 'the hope of Oric ' (name in Onom.), others Welsh ar-y-cop, 'on the summit'. Possibly both are wrong. There is an unidentified Dom. Hercop somewhere in the Kington district.
- 1086 Alretune, Auretone, Ortune [? J. H. R.], Dom.
- 1243 Alreton, T. de Nevill.
- 1291 Olreton, Tax. Eccles.
- 1302 Orletone, Quo War.
From O.E. alor, 'the alder tree', alra-tun; 'tun among the alders'. Orleton (Worcs.) is also Dom. Alretune; Ollerton (Lancs.) is in 1282 Alreton. The Dom. Auretone (Avreton) should give Overton, and there is in Orleton an Overton, which is in 1529 Overtown.
There is also an Orl Wood in Kingstone, and, near by, in Madley, Chilson Orls. In Mathon is a farm called The Orls; and in 1577 in Eastnor was 'Dead Orle'. Without old forms we cannot arrive at the meaning of the word. It cannot be O.E. orl, 'the border of a garment'. It probably has a local reference, since three of the four instances in the county are within a few miles of one another. Possibly it is akin to Orleton (q.v.).
The use of 'over' for 'upper' is still common in Herefordshire. In addition to several Overtons and Nethertons, we have Over Ross and Over Letton, Overcourt (Sutton), and Overbury (Woolhope). Near Leominster is Overbache, and the Upper Hall at Ledbury was until a comparatively recent date Overhall.Return to top of page