One of the oldest names in the Plymouth area and one of the most common in the County, ‘Bowden’ was recorded as ‘Boghedon juxta Ekebokelond’ in the Assize Records of nearly seven hundred years ago (1321). An absolutely literal translation of that would seemingly give us ‘the curved hill next to Eggbuckland or Hecche’s book land, that is, the land entered in the book as belonging to Hecche, the Anglo-Saxon who apparently owned the land prior to the Norman Conquest.’
The ‘Bow’ element which crops up so frequently around Devon almost certainly comes from the Old English ‘boga’ – meaning bow, arch or curve. Often this element is incorporated into the name of a place with an arched bridge, but almost as common is its use in connection with a lofty area, a rounded or curved hill or slope.
While Bowden Park Road is itself a relatively recent development from around the middle of the twentieth century, it is clearly located near the top of the curved hill that gave rise to the name in the first place.