The Domesday Book castle LVVRE

The Domesday Book castle LVVRE

By Keith Briggs

Journal of the English Place-Name Society, Vol.40 (2008)

Introduction: The Domesday Book records a castle in the manor of Maesbury, the current Oswestry in Shropshire, called LVVRE, usually taken to represent Luvre. This is interpreted by Gelling as “presumably French l’oeuvre ‘the work’”; and she notes that it was called castellum de Oswaldestr’ in c.1180, this being the first mention of the name Oswestry. Lewis also accepts this interpetation, stating that the castle was “known simply as ‘the Earthwork’ (Luvre, that is l’oeuvre)”; the same is given by Duckers and Duckers. The purpose of this note is to point out that this is not likely to be correct, and to offer alternative interpretations.

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