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Origins of the Name Leicester


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This British encampment, on the spot where part of Leicester now stands, was called in the native Celtic tongue Caer-lerion, the city or camp of the Loegrians, that branch of the Cymrian stock then inhabiting the Midlands, and so named from the river Loegre or Ligur (afterwards Loire) in Gaul, where they had long before immigrated into Britain.

The river that watered their green and fertile clearing was called the Leir, from the same source; and thus the ancient British name given to Leicester sometimes takes the form of Caer-Leir, or "the city by the Leir" (afterwards called the Soar). Some local antiquarians consider that the ancient and artificial elevation known as "the Mount" in the grounds of Leicester Castle, was probably the fortress or stronghold of the original Loegrian inhabitants, the word "Caer" apparently admitting of a very wide interpretation, as "walled mount", "camp", "castle", "city" or "fortress".

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