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the 42 names of Eynsham


To mark the Millennium of Eynsham Abbey in 2005, an unusual teatowel was designed - listing the 42 names of Eynsham - or, more strictly, the 42 ways of spelling the name of Eynsham. This page contains a note about it, a picture, and purchase details.
The original lettering was done for the calligraphy stall at St. Benedict's Fair on 23 July 2005, by Isabelle Spencer of Witney. She is a calligrapher and artist, and a founder member of the Oxford Scribes. She has kindly donated this lettering to Eynsham. The original will hang in the Village Hall, as a memento of the Abbey Millennium.

The varied spellings of Eynsham from the 10th to the 18th century are based on information from Alan Hardy and Roslyn Smith in their book 'Eynsham, a Village and its Abbey' (Oxford Archaeology 2002). The spelling 'Egonesham' seems to have been in use as early as 571 when Eynsham was captured from the Britons by Cuthwulf, King of the West Saxons. This is later recorded in 'The Anglo Saxon Chronicle'.

According to A.D. Mills in 'A Dictionary of English Place Names' (Oxford University Press, 1998), the meaning of 'Egonesham' is an enclosure or river meadow of a man called Aegen. Since the latter part of the 19th century it has mostly been spelt 'Eynsham', pronounced Ensham. 'Eynsham' was first used in 1390!

The tea towel is being sold in aid of the renovation of St. Leonard's Church Hall, Eynsham, which will benefit the whole community.

Made from a copy of the Eynsham Lettering designed by Isabelle Spencer of Witney for the Eynsham Abbey Millennium Celebrations 2005.

Price: £4.50

42-name Notelets are also available @ £4.50 for 10 (more on these)

available in Eynsham from:
Eynsham Emporium, Mill St
Traidcraft & Charity Sale, Scout Hall, Back Lane (Friday 10-12)

Order Forms available from:
Evenlode DIY, High St
St. Leonard's Church, The Square

enquiries 880 919 or 882 570