Spelling Anglo-Saxon names

The spelling of Anglo-Saxon names was not fixed, with different spellings found in different sources.   This has led to some confusion.   The spelling in bold is that generally used in this website.


Aelfthryth is particularly problematic.

At the west end of the south aisle, a lancet window dedicated to her (? in 1923), calls her Alfthritha, Abbess of Repton.

Macdonald, writing in 'A short History of Repton' (? 1929) calls her Aelfritha.   This was taken up by the list of the Bishops, Abbesses and Vicars which is on display in the church.

In 'St. Wystan's Church, Repton. A Guide and History' (1989), Dr. Harold Taylor calls her Aelfthryth.   Taylor had an unrivalled knowledge of St Wystan's and its history, and would have been well aware of Macdonald and of the earlier guides to the church.   It is worth noting that (over two centuries later) a daughter of Alfred the Great, the mother of Aethelred the Unready, was also called Aelfthryth.   However, that is not conclusive, as people may be back-forming the spelling of 'our' Aelfthryth by reference to her.

Other spellings encountered are Aelfrith and Elfrida.

As Taylor is generally regarded as the foremost authority on the history of St Wystan's Church, this website has mainly opted for his spelling, Aelfthryth (but not when describing the window).   However, that does lead to there being three different spellings in use in the church.


Elfleda, daughter of Oswy and bride of Penda, is also found as Alchfled or Alchflæd.


. . . or Werbergh is today generally known as St Werburgh.


. . . also known as Wigstan.