Things to do in Duns Tew, Oxfordshire
What a marvellous name for an Oxfordshire village. People are genuinely intrigued with villages' name of Duns Tew.
Why is it called Duns Tew, it is thought that Tew formally Teowe or Tiewe (as advised by the Domesday Book record keepers) means ‘ridge', and the village does lie on the North Aston fault, separating limestone and sands in the south from the clay of the north, but there is not a ridge in the traditional sense of the word, more of a coming together of 2 differing land masses.
Duns might come from an Anglo-Saxon called Dunn, perhaps a landowner, and possibly living after the Conquest, as the full name does not appear until the 13th century. Or is there some connection with the names of the other ‘Tews', Great and Little Tew, but these villages are some four and five miles distant.
A Professor Ekwell suggests the following (this paragraph has been published widely).
"The name TEW is of great antiquity and its roots go back to Anglo-Saxon times. According to Professor Ekwell it probably appeared as Old English word Tiewe, which is known to have existed as an element in compound words (e.g. manigtiewe = skilful). He deduces that Tiewe may have meant a lengthy object, and to have been adopted as the name given to a ridge of land in North West Oxfordshire. In time the name would have been transferred from the feature of the landscape itself to the settlements that became established upon it, and which today are the villages of Great Tew, Little Tew and Duns Tew".
"Tew: English Place name from the old English word "Tiewe" which meant row, or ridge, and the person living near the ridge became known as Tew".
Description by Jon Willian Baxter