Encyclopedia > Lea

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Lea is an Old English word meaning a "clearing", an "open piece of grassland" or a "grove", and is reflected in most of the English town or village names ending in "-ley" or "-leigh".

Examples are:

  • Wembley - Wembla's Clearing (Gt. London)
  • Purley - Peartree Grove (Gt. London)
  • Hadleigh - Heather Clearing (Essex)
But note these exceptions:

The word is still current in poetic language, meaning "meadow" or "pasture".

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