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Wyville's wellsAs you may have picked up from the page about local place-names I have a long-standing interest in what a place's name can tell us about its past.
There's about a dozen or so places in England which include the Old English words wig (confusingly prononounced 'wee' or 'why') or weoh. Despite the varieties of spelling they are the same word. Which means a pagan 'shrine' or 'icon'.
Shrines and icons were once the same thing as roadside shrines in Catholic countries confirm. Without the statue (usually of the Virgin Mary) it wouldn't be a shrine. And just a roadside statue of the Virgin Mary, without any other structure, would be spoken of as a shrine.
Intriguingly several weohs are in or adjoining north Leicestershire.
The Old English word wella evolved into the modern word 'well'. But it originally meant a spring, not a deep hole with a bucket.
The scribal error of 'v' for 'w' is a common one in old documents – the two letters were not as distinct back then. This led to the name transforming into '‑ville'.
The second pond (foreground) looking to the Victorian church on the skyline.
There is another spring and pond shown on OS maps about 500 metres to the north. This is however on private land.
Next time you are heading south from Harlaxton follow the signs to Hungerton and then Wyville. An OS map will be necessary to locate the springs and ponds. There's only one road in and out of Wyville and most of the properties are tucked down in the valley near the springs, so there's a real sense of being secluded.
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Articles about BarrowbyBarrowby's location and geology
Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Articles and web links for nearby places
rare seventeenth fonts at Muston, Bottesford and Orston from Project Gargoyle Newsletter 2020
Ironstone quarries of Leicestershire
The Grantham Canal
Croxton Kerrial manor house excavations