The varied spellings of Eynsham from the 10th to the 18th century are recorded by Alan Hardy and Roslyn Smith ('Eynsham, a Village and its Abbey', Oxford Archaeology 2002). The spelling 'Egonesham' seems to have been in use as early as 571 when the settlement was captured from the Britons by Cuthwulf, King of the West Saxons according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. More abbey history; more village history.
The meaning of 'Egonesham' is an enclosure or river meadow of a man called Aegen (AD Mills, 'A Dictionary of English Place Names', Oxford University Press 1998). The modern spelling 'Eynsham' was first used in 1390 and has been in regular use since the latter part of the 19th century.
The local pronunciation is EN-SHUM (at least today).
The original lettering shown here was done for the calligraphy stall at St Benedict's Fair on 23 July 2005, by Isabelle Spencer of Witney, a founder member of the Oxford Scribes. The original hangs in the Village Hall by courtesy of the Parish Council, as a memento of the Abbey Millennium.
A cream cotton tea towel with lettering in navy blue and terracotta red is being sold in aid of the renovation of St Leonard's Church Hall, which will benefit the whole community.
The same design has been adapted for notelets and notebooks, cookbooks and candles, china and bags, etc. They are on sale at outlets around the village and at the rear of St Leonard's Church.
Prices, availability and further developments from Eynsham Enterprises.
Tell WODC your experience of Back Lane car park
Have you booked your place for Eynsham Scouting reunion?