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Westerham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Sevenoaks District  /  Westerham
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Westerham is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent. It is located on the border of Kent with Greater London and Surrey, bordering Bromley and the Tandridge District. It is located west of Sevenoaks.It is recorded as early as the 9th century, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in a Norman form, Oistreham (compare Ouistreham in Normandy, Oistreham in 1086).Hām is Old English for a village or homestead, and so Westerham means a westerly homestead. The River Darent flows through the town, and formerly powered three watermills.(The spelling Oistreham is probably the result of a confusion with Ouistreham in Normandy facing England. The etymology of the name Oistreham > Ouistreham is probably a confusion between "west" and "east". Old Saxon *Westarham or Old English *Westreham should have given *Westreham > *Vestreham or *Estreham in medieval Norman, see Étréham. Oistreham (Normandy) is much better explained by Old Saxon ōstar = "east", with similar phonetic evolution as Latin ostrea = "oyster", Old French oistre > English "oyster". We cannot exclude an artificial influence of this word that would have corrupted the initial Westre- to Oistre-, but it is impossible to prove. That is the reason why the Old Saxon ōstar is a better solution for Ouistreham.)
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