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Iffley parish place names

Iffley and Rose Hill - Introduction and origins


By Katie Hambrook


Old place names and field names give fascinating glimpses into the past life and landscape of this area of East Oxford stretching back from the 19th century to Anglo Saxon times, and even into prehistory. The origins of the name Rose Hillare both recent and well recorded. This was the name of a 19th century house built on the road now called Rose Hill. Rose Hill was used first as a name for the houses and area around the original Rose Hill house, and then for the road and the council estate. The origins of the name Iffley are more of a puzzle. The ‘ley’ of Iffley is the Old English 'leah'. This is a word that in early Anglo Saxon times meant 'wood’.  There has been some disagreementabout the later meanings of 'leah'. A current view is that ‘leah’ came to be applied to woodland used for pasturing pigs and other livestock. In Anglo-Saxon times herds of pigs were commonly kept in woods; theywould graze on bushes and the lower branches of the trees, and in the autumn they would eat acorns and beechmast.


The full report can be downloaded here