Ashby Magna, in the Guthlaxton Hundred of Leicestershire, is likely an Anglo-Scandinavian name coming from Old English æsc ‘ash-tree’ and Old Norse by ‘a farmstead, a village’. Some spellings may show influence of Old Norse eski ‘a place growing with ash-trees’ or even Old English esce ‘a stand of ash-trees’ on the first element.
Ashby is a common place-name, but is is uncertain whether this name is an Old English creation Scandinavianized (i.e replacing Old English tun ‘an enclosure; a farmstead; a village; an estate’ with Old Norse by) or whether the name is fully Scandinavian in origin, with Old English æsc (Middle English ash) replacing Old Norse askr ‘ash-tree’.
The affix Medieval Latin magna ‘great’ differentiates the township from Ashby Parva, which lies approximately three miles to the south-west.
- Viking Names
- hybrid name, landscape, Leicestershire, place-name, trees
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Ashby Magna, Leicestershire.
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Barrie Cox, The Place-Names of Leicestershire V. English Place-Name Society LXXXVIII (2011), p. 9.
Barrie Cox, A Dictionary of Leicestershire and Rutland Place-Names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society (2005), p. 4.