The Village of Beer: East Devon

The Origins of Beer

The origin of the name of Beer is uncertain. Various theories have been put forward as to its origin.

Bearu – Saxon for “Wood”

Byr – Norse for “farmstead”

Bere – Anglo-Saxon for “barley”

The Saxon version has been given as “Beerham” or “Berham”.

In Norman times the name was spelt “Bera” as it appears in the Domesday Book.

In a petition sent to parliament in 1698 appealing against the repeal of the 1697 Act granting English lace makers protection from foreign competition, Beer is referred to as Beare.

King HenryVIII’s antiquarian, John Leland, referred to the village as Brereworde when he was travelling the country in the 16th century collecting historical and geographical data.

Other variations that appear through the years are Bereword, Bere, Ber.

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