River Tove

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River Tove
River Tove - geograph.org.uk - 328739.jpg
From Ox Bridge near Abthorpe

The River Tove is a river in England, a tributary of the River Great Ouse. Rising in Northamptonshire about a mile north of Greatworth, it flows for about 15 miles (24 km) north and east of the town of Towcester (meaning 'camp on the Tove') near Bury Mount before meeting the Ouse south-east of Cosgrove just north of Milton Keynes. Its final 5 miles (8 km) form part of the border between Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, running alongside the Grand Union Canal. The river ultimately flows into the North Sea.


The Old English name of Towcester, which is named for the River Tove,[1] is Tófe-ceaster,[2] suggesting (since ceaster comes from the Latin castra, meaning "camp"[3]) that the Old English name for the Tove was some form of Tófe. Bosworth and Toller give the "Scandinavian proper names" Tófi and Tófa for comparison.[2] Tófa, in turn, is a shortened form of Thorfrithr, meaning "beautiful Thor" or "peace of Thor."[4][5][6]


  1. ^ Flavell Edmunds. "Towcester." Traces of History in the Names of Places. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1869. 272.
  2. ^ a b Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller, "Tófe-ceaster." An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1882. 997. (Online version)
  3. ^ "Chester." Oxford English Dictionary. oed.com
  4. ^ names-meanings.net: Tofa
  5. ^ behindthename.com: Tove, Thorfrithr
  6. ^ Teresa Norman, "Tova." A World of Baby Names. New York: Penguin, 2003. 504.

Coordinates: 52°07′45″N 0°57′03″W / 52.12917°N 0.95083°W / 52.12917; -0.95083