The history of West Hagbourne
The village name

West Hagbourne's

How did the village get its name?

Saxon origins
The first part of the word Hagbourne originates from the Saxon name Hacca, whilst bourne comes from the Old English word burn, meaning a small stream, thus creating Haccaburn.

Local tradition has it that Hacca was a soldier in the Saxon army that came up the Thames and claimed the land near the stream. It is said that Hacca settled there, thus giving his name to the stream which links West and East Hagbourne via a whole network of springs, brooks and ditches. Thus the area eventually came to be known as the Hagbournes.

King Alfred's Charter
The name of the stream has changed over the centuries from such Anglo-Saxon versions as haccaburna, hacceburnan and haccebroce, before finally settling on its modern version, Hakka's Brook. We know this because the stream is mentioned in a very early charter of about 895AD, whereby King Alfred exchanged various pieces of land, including Hagbourne, with the Bishop of Winchester. This charter calls the land hacceburnan and refers to the stream as haccebroce. This is the earliest known written reference to the Hagbournes.

Windsor Hakeborne

Throughout history place names have been strongly associated with the people who have lived in them and vice versa. This has applied equally to small cottages and manorial estates. During Medieval times, one of the family names most strongly attached to West Hagbourne was that of the Windsors. According to the Domesday Book, Walter, son of Other (believed to be a Norman knight), held the manor of West Hagbourne in 1068. He was made the first constable of Windsor Castle by William the Conqueror and assumed the surname de Windsor, thus founding the Windsor dynasty. The Windsors held the manorial estate of West Hagbourne for nearly 600 years. As a result, West Hagbourne became known as Windsor Hakeborne during the Middle Ages.

West Hagbourne emerges
The village name has evolved through numerous variations including Westhacheborne, Westhakeburn and Westhakebourne. It was not until the 19th century that the version West Hagbourne finally emerged.