The Worcestershire windofers:

Landmarks on a track between Wychbury hill and Ismere, two of north Worcestershire's most important ancient sites


K James BSc(Hons) MSc PhD FIAP




The Worcestershire windofers... 31/12/2018

(Approx. 15 Mbytes. 28 A4 pages, including 7 figures.)


The Worcestershire windofers... 20/09/2019

(Approx. 65 Mbytes. 30 A4 pages, including 8 figures.)


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A seemingly ancient track-way traverses an extended area of high ground at Iverley in south Staffordshire. Running in a roughly east-west direction, the track may have afforded access between Wychbury hill, the location of an Iron Age hill fort, and Ismere. The latter was probably the moot (meeting) site of the people of the Husmerę province, an ancient tribal group which almost certainly pre-dates the Anglo-Saxon settlement of the region. Evidence that the track also served as a link between two major north-south roads (probably Iron Age salt-ways) is discussed.

The track begins and ends upon gently-sloping promontories in Wolverley and Pedmore parishes, both of which were in Worcestershire until 1974. The promontories were each named windofer in separate tenth-century charters; and it is noteworthy that this otherwise unique place-name occurs twice, just over two miles apart on the same ancient track-way.

The name's wind- qualifier may be related the verb 'to wind' rather than to blustery weather. The Old English place-name element -ofer is considered to mean a promontory or ridge having a characteristic shape, but it is argued here that windofer refers to the entire elevated landmass, including the two promontories, over which the Iverley track passes. 

The pages of this article include gutter margins and are intended to be printed in A4 double-sided format.