Avening (//) is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England, about three miles (5 km) north of Tetbury. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 1,094, decreasing to 1,031 at the 2011 census. Nearby is Gatcombe Park, the home of the Princess Royal.
|Population||1,031 (2011 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
The name Avening is first attested in an early 11th-century manuscript of a charter of 896, in the dative case, in the Old English phrase to Æfeningum ("to Avening"). In the nominative case, this word would have been Æfeningas. Throughout the 20th century, scholars agreed that the stream running through Avening must, like a number of other rivers in Britain, have been called "Avon", and that this word was combined with the Old English suffix -ingas ("people, tribe"). Thus the name Æfeningas was thought to have meant "people of the Avon".
However, in 2016–18, Richard Coates argued that this explanation was problematic (there is no evidence that the river was called "Avon" and the expected Old English spelling of a word based on that name would have been **Afeningas, not Æfeningas; moreover, place-names ending in -ingas are not otherwise found based on river-names). While recognising that he had no good alternative etymology to offer, Coates argued that the Gaulish place-name Aven(n)io, now Avignon, would from a phonological point of view be a viable basis for Æfeningas. Thus the name may have meant "people from Avignon", referring to a settlement of people from that area of Gaul, perhaps monks sent to Britain.
Related place names edit
Avening is also the name of a rural community immediately south of Creemore, Ontario, Canada, on the Mad River. One of its pioneers was Frederick Thornbury, who built a flour mill and a sawmill in the Ontario community in 1860, and named the settlement "after his native place in England".
History and geography edit
During the Second World War, Avening lay on the GHQ Line, part of anti-invasion preparations. Extensive anti-tank ditches were constructed to the south and southeast, and were overlooked by a number of pillboxes.
Notable people edit
- Michael Powell (1905–90). Film director, producer, screenwriter, actor. Buried in Holy Cross Church. The gravestone was designed by his son Columba, who appeared in some of his films.
- Pamela Brown (1917–75). A RADA-trained actor, Brown spent her last days with Michael Powell at the cottage in Avening, which they both loved. Also buried in Holy Cross Church.
- Lindsey Merrison (born 1959). Anglo-Burmese film director and producer who has a cottage in Avening.
- Arthur Lee, 1st Viscount Lee of Fareham and Lady Lee lived at Old Quarries, a Grade II listed building.
- The now disbanded clogging dance group Roughshod Appalachian Cloggers and their band the Cotswold Mountain Boys originated from Avening. They appeared on The Michael Barrymore Show in 1993.
- John Sirgood (1822–85), Christian fundamentalist lay preacher and founder of the Society of Dependants, was born in Avening.
- Caroline Playne (1857-1948), historian and anti-war activist, was born in Avening.
See also edit
- The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society, ed. by Victor Watts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. Avening.
- Richard Coates, 'Some Philological and Methodological Thoughts on the Problematic Place-name Avening, Gloucestershire', Nomina: Journal of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, 39 (2016–18), 57–75.
- Places in Ontario: Their Name Origins and History, Part I, by Nick and Helma Mika, Mika Publishing Company, Belleville, Ontario, 1977, p 111.
- "Church of the Holy Cross". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- Foot, 2006, p 291-296.
- "Avening Parish Council Website". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- Sybil Oldfield (2004), "'Playne, Caroline Elizabeth (1857–1948)'", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38530
General references edit
- Avening Parish Council
- Avening in the Domesday Book
- Stroud Voices (Avening filter) - oral history site