Old Guildhall in the Market Place.

The name of Newbury

You will not find Newbury in any documents before the Norman conquest, what you will find is Thatcham Hundred consisting of a number of manors. One of those manors is Ulvritone. This was a small settlement somewhere in the Newbury area, possibly in the “City” area. Grey notes in his “The History and Antiquities of Newbury and Its Environs” that the name Ulvritone is a corruption of Ulwardetone which came from Ulward who he proposed had previously possessed the settlement before the Norman conquest. Where ever it came from the Norman conquest saw Ulvritone with a new owner Arnulf of Hesdin (see Open Domesday).

Ulvritone, which itself has a few variations in texts such as Uluritone, was place in the Hundred of Thatcham. A new market town, or new bourg was formed. Over the centuries this has transformed to Newbury. Shortly after the conquest, in a land grant in 1079 we get ‘Neoburiae’. Other variations of the name are found through the years including:

  • King John – Nubiry and Neubiry
  • Edward I – Neubury
  • Edward IV – Nubury
  • Henry VI – Newebury
  • Elizabeth – Newbery and Newberye

Not too long after, certainly by 1720 we have “Newbury”. The question now is where exactly was the Saxon settlement of Ulvritone?


1Grey, E., The History and Antiquities of Newbury and Its Environs, Newbury, 1839

2Walter, M., The History of the Ancient Town and Borough of Newbury in the County of Berks, Newbury: Parker and Company, 1887