President: RICHARD HANBURY TENISON Chairman: MARTIN Culuford Secretary: JENNY RENDER 8 Pentonville, Newport, Gwent (0633) 213229 Editor: FRANK OLDING ABERGAVENNY Museum, THE CASTLE, CASTLE STREET, Abergavenny, Gwent. NP7 5EE GWENT LOCAL HISTORY Formerly "Presenting Monmouthshire" No. 79 Autumn 1995 Editor's Note: "Striguil" I offer the following note as a very tentative suggestion that a reasonable case could be made for the medieval name for the lordship of Chepstow, Striguil, being a variant of a hypothetical Middle Welsh form, *Ystregwyl or *Ystreguyl, combining the two elements ystre and gwyl. The earliest recorded form of the placename is the Estrighoiel of the Domesday Book (1086). In the early Middle Welsh period, e is commonly found for y (e.g. er for yr "the", dechymygu for dychmygu "devise, imagine") [Evans, p.1 and this could account for the initial e in Estrighoiel. At the same period, the variant stre also occurs [Williams 1961, pp.35, 279] and this could also account for the lack of initial y or e in the later form Striguil. To turn to the two elements which I see in the name, the noun ystre occurs in Middle Welsh poetic sources with the meanings "border, bank; boundary, district, region; boundary dyke, rampart" [Williams 1978, p.60]. The noungwyl means "a watch, guard, vigil" and is also found in poetic sources in its Middle Welsh form, guyl [G.P.C., p.1759]. Combined, these elements would give "Ystregwyl (with possible variants Ystreguyl or Stregwyl/Streguyl) meaning "the well-guarded border" or "the watchful border" or, bearing in mind the meanings for ystre listed above, "the well-guarded boundary dyke or rampart" possibly a reference to Offa's Dyke on the far bank of the River Wye. Notes Evans, Simon D., A Grammar of Middle Welsh (Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1976). G.P.C. Geiriadur Prifysgol CymruAJniversity of Wales Dictionary of the Welsh Language, Vol. II "G-LLYYS", (Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1968-1987) Williams 1961 Williams, I., Canu Aneirin (Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1961, repr. 1989). Williams 1978: Williams, I., Canu Llywarch Hen (Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1978).