Thought to be a corruption of an ancient name for the River Lea which is nearby. The name itself has Celtic origins and is thought to mean the bright one or possibly dedicated to Lugus, an ancient deity. The river traditionally marked the western boundary of Essex. It was first mentioned as Lygan in AD895 and by the turn of the first millennium as Liggean. Later still it was recorded as Luia and Leye in 1235, Luy in 1378 and Lye in 1390.