Thurnby, Leicestershire

Thurnby, in the Gartree Hundred of Leicestershire, probably derives from Old Norse þyrne, þyrnir, þyrni ‘a thorn-bush’ and Old Norse by ‘a farmstead, a village’.

It is also possible that the specific element is the Old Norse byname Þyrnir. However, when taken with the neighbouring parish Bushby these names appear to record an area of former scrubland. This land remained poorly exploited until the period of Scandinavian settlement. Some earlier spellings of the name show substitution of Old English þorn ‘a thorn-tree’ as the first element.

Thurnby is now a joint parish with Bushby.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


byname, landscape, Leicestershire, place-name, trees

Further information

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


Barrie Cox, The Place-Names of Leicestershire IV. English Place-Name Society LXXXIV (2009), p. 278.

Barrie Cox, A Dictionary of Leicestershire and Rutland Place-Names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society (2005), p. 105.