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'Lundy' - 'island of the sacred grove'

Early versions of Lundy include - 'londi,' 'Londeia,' 'Londia,' 'Lunday,' 'landy,' 'Londey,''Londay,' 'Loudia,' 

(also called 'Ely')

Several books give the derivation of Lundy as 'Puffin Island' apparently from Norse. 


the old norse word 'lundr' is the root word for the modern 'lund' 'lunt' and '-land'. The meaning is ' grove' 'copse' 'sacred grove' and the old eng '...ëg'  'island

Lund ëg

'island of the sacred grove'


This meaning is corroborated by other place names on Lundy island itself. The names 'Lametor' 'Lametry Bay' on Lundy derive from 'Llan-y-tor' (old celtic) "the enclosure or sacred precinct on the hill." The old celtic word 'Llan' 'enclosure or church' is an alternative source  of modern '-land'.


(Similarly the accepted meaning of 'Lindsey' is from Celtic 'Lindis' meaning 'pool' and old english '-eg' > 'island.)


'Gildas' cives is the Latin equivalent of the British word Combrogi, fellow countrymen, whose modern form is Cymry or Cumbri, still the national name of the welsh and the north western British. The name existed in or before the sixth century and was adopted throughout the former Roman territories of Britain; for when the English gave names to villages whose population was still British, they called a number of them Comberton, Cumberlow, Wellcombe or the like. They did so because their inhabitants called themselves Combri at the time of the English conquest'..............Age of Arthur - John Morris

Place Names in 'Lundy, Isle of Avalon'

The derivation of 'Hartland'  is here


The derivation of 'Clovelly' 

cloueleia --- 1086, clovely --- 1242, cloveli --- 1284, colf ely --- 1290, cloveley --- 1297, clof eli --- 1306.

It is non-english

In a charter of 1290 the name is 'Colf Ely' and in the assize rolls of 1306 it is 'Clofeli'

It may come from clawdd' old welsh for 'trench'

But more likely it is derived from the old english 'cloh' whose modern versions includes 'clof..' meaning 'ravine' or 'deep valley' 


The Derivation of Appledore



Norway is a confusion of Llychlynn  which, according to Rhys, 'at first meant the fabulous land beneath the lakes or waves of the sea, but got in the time of the Norsemen's ravages to mean the land of the fjords or Norway." (Arthurian Legend,II).



 Geoffrey of Monmouth, Malory etc mention a lot of names which, although they are significant places in their world, seem to be out of place in an Arthurian context. One of the most puzzling to me was Winchester. In his book ‘The Road from Avalon’, August Hunt suggests that the name may have originated in a misreading of ‘Gwyn’ for ‘Win’. ie  Winchester in Geoffrey, Malory etc. might be a mistake for 'white castle'

To an author of Geoffrey’s era the name Gwyn Chester would obviously refer to Winchester. But the old name for Winchester was Venta Belgarum ( win derives from venta ). Gwyn Chester refers to a place called White Castle. The same place occurs in Nennius list of Arthur’s Battles as Castle Guinnion ( the MW. plural of gwynn, "white" (Br. * vindos) was gwynnion, from OW. guinnion, Br. *vindiones.) A white castle is probably meant by the Anglo saxon chronicle entry Whitgaer (why can’t I find this reference????)

Winchester --- old welsh - Caerwynt --------- roman Venta Belgarum

Caerwent --- venta Silurum


More Place names

Taw means 'silent one'.... Torridge means 'violent rough stream'....the Dalch, a tributary of the Taw, means 'black or dark stream'.


All those places with 'legan', 'legane', legaun', 'liggin', 'gallon', 'gallan[e]', 'gullane' or ''gullach' in their English form refer to standing stone or alignments .-----'gallan' = standing stone.   


Avalon-  may be from the W. afallen, "apple-tree" alt, . Breton avallen


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