Ashby Magna

Ashby Magna, Leicestershire

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.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


hybrid name, landscape, Leicestershire, place-name, trees

Further information

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Image © Mat Fascione, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0

Image © Mat Fascione, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0


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.