Kilburn Vale, NW6

Place Name

The name Kilburn was first recorded around 1130, with the establishment of Kilburn Priory an off-shoot of Westminster Abbey. It was originally spelt as Cumeburna or Cuneburna, the meaning of the first element of the name is uncertain, with scholars suggesting that it could mean the place next to a cattle stream – cü meaning cow in Old English. Other suggestions are that it is the stream belonging to a man name Cylla or the royal stream. Within 40 years of it being recorded the spelling had changed to Kyneburna and by 1181 Keleburne becoming Kyleburne in 1229. Other spellings include Keneburna, Keeleburne, Coldburne, or Caleburn. The water course in question is the now “lost” River Westbourne, it was here that the old Roman Watling Street met the river – which has long since been paved over and used as a sewer. There name is appropriate since this particular road is in a dip.

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