Notes on the Origin of the Place Name "Risca" Dr. G. O. Osborne Five different serious suggestions of the origin of the place name "Risca" have appeared in print. Risca has been said to have been derived from the Latin "Isca", from the Welsh "yr is cae" meaning "the lower field, enclosure or hedge", from "yr hesg cae" meaning "field of rushes or sedge" i.e. "marshy field", or again from "rhisgl" meaning "oak bark". Risca has also been said to mean "a field of brushwood"; here the derivation proposed appears to be from the O.E. "hris" or "brushwood". When considering the origin of the name Risca, account must be taken of the fact that although Risca (Gwent) is now the only place so named in Wales, or for that matter in the U.K., Risca was also, at one time, the name of a river in what is now Mid-Glamorgan. Sixteenth century documents refer to "the river Risca" or Nant Risca and this is clearly the old name of the small river, now known as Nant yr Aber, which flows from Senghenydd through Abertridwr to join the Rhymni above Caerffili. The origin of the place name Risca (Gwent) must thus also be valid for Nant Risca. In John Leland's celebrated Itinerary in Wales of 1536-9 there is apparently some confusion between Risca and Nant Risca. Leland says2 "Thence on Remney ripe (i.e. on the banks of Rhymni) is a fair valley called Diffrin Risca, going three or four miles upward on the water and from the head of this valley it is upwards four miles to Eggluis Tider Vab Hohele (Mynyddislwyn Church)". He goes on to say that "the head of Rhymni river is three or four miles above this, in the hills". Possibly because of the reference to Mynyddislwyn Church "Duffryn Risca" (duffryn = valley esp. wooded valley) has been taken to be a reference to Risca (Gwent).3 But Leland also says "Thence come many springs.The brook Cayach (Caeach) going into Diffrin Risca, it is augmented with Risca, a brook coming into it out of a parish called Eggluis Ilan (Eglwysilan) and then doeth it bear the name Risca. Eggluis Ilan is in Senghenith (Senghenydd) in Glamorganshire 4 miles from Diffrin Risca. And coming to Bedwas parish it is called Remney (Rhymni) and by the same name to the Severn Sea". It is very clear that in this paragraph Leland is talking about Nant Risca and by "Duffryn Risca" he seems to mean the valley of the Rhymni in the vicinity of the confluence with Nant Risca. Of course, when describing places away from main routes Leland must have been forced to rely on hearsay, errors being introduced thereby. There